Hunter v. Underwood
|Hunter v. Underwood|
|Argued February 26, 1985
Decided April 16, 1985
|Full case name||Hunter, et al. v. Victor Underwood, et al.|
|Citations||471 U.S. 222 (more)
105 S. Ct. 1916; 85 L. Ed. 2d 222; 1985 U.S. LEXIS 2740; 53 U.S.L.W. 4468
|Majority||Rehnquist, joined by Burger, Brennan, White, Marshall, Blackmun, Stevens, O'Connor|
|Powell took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.|
Hunter v. Underwood, 471 U.S. 222 (1985), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court invalidated the felony disenfranchisement provision of § 182 of the Alabama Constitution as a violation of equal protection.
Edwards, an African-American, and Underwood, white, were blocked from voting after presenting a worthless check. Their disenfranchisement was mandated by § 182 of the Alabama Constitution, which disenfranchised persons convicted of "any crime...involving moral turpitude."
Opinion of the Court
The court identified § 182 as a facially neutral law with racially disproportionate effects, thus requiring an inquiry to discover if the law was passed with a discriminatory purpose. The provision was adopted at a convention in 1901, and the court found ample evidence that the law and other measures of the convention were passed with the intention of disenfranchising practically all African-Americans. The court struck down the provision as a violation of equal protection.
- Varat, J.D. et al. Constitutional Law Cases and Materials, Concise Thirteenth Edition. Foundation Press, NY: 2009, p. 574
- Varat, p. 574