South Carolina v. Katzenbach
|South Carolina v. Katzenbach|
|Argued January 17–18, 1966
Decided March 7, 1966
|Full case name||South Carolina v. Nicholas Katzenbach, Attorney General|
|Citations||383 U.S. 301 (more)
86 S. Ct. 803; 15 L. Ed. 2d 769; 1966 U.S. LEXIS 2112
|The Voting Rights Act was a valid exercise of Congress's power under the enforcement clause of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301 (1966) is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court rejected a challenge by the state of South Carolina to the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which required that some states submit changes in election districts to the Attorney General of the United States (at the time, Nicholas Katzenbach).
The decision represents a rare instance of the Supreme Court exercising its original jurisdiction, as the case was filed directly in the Supreme Court by the state of South Carolina, rather than being appealed from a lower court.
Opinion of the Court
In his opinion for the Court, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote that the Voting Rights Act was a valid exercise of Congress' power under the enforcement clause of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Justice Hugo L. Black dissented in part. While he would have sustained most of the law, he would have struck down the Section 5 preclearance provisions: DISSENT: "Section 5, by providing that some of the States cannot pass state laws or adopt state constitutional amendments without first being compelled to beg federal authorities to approve their policies, so distorts our constitutional structure of government as to render any distinction drawn in the Constitution between state and federal power almost meaningless. One of the most basic premises upon which our structure of government was founded was that the Federal Government was to have certain specific and limited powers and no others, and all other power was to be reserved either 'to the States respectively, or to the people.' Certainly if all the provisions of our Constitution which limit the power of the Federal Government and reserve other power to the States are to mean anything, they mean at least that the States have power to pass laws and amend their constitutions without first sending their officials hundreds of miles away to beg federal authorities to approve them. "
- http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1965/1965_22_orig South Carolina v. Katzenbach, U.S. Supreme Court Case Summary & Oral Argument
- Full text opinion from Findlaw.com
- Text of South Carolina v. Katzenbach (Cornell Law School)
- Discussion of South Carolina v. Katzenbach and other Supreme Court cases interpreting U.S. civil rights laws
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