Harman v. Forssenius
|Harman v. Forssenius|
|Argued March 1–2, 1965
Decided April 27, 1965
|Full case name||Harman v. Forssenius|
|Citations||380 U.S. 528 (more)
85 S. Ct. 1177; 14 L. Ed. 2d 50; 1965 U.S. LEXIS 1347
|Virginia's law partially eliminating the poll tax violated the Twenty-fourth Amendment.|
|Majority||Warren, joined by unanimous|
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Harman v. Forssenius was a 1965 United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that Virginia's partial elimination of the poll tax violated the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Virginia attempted to avoid the effect of the 24th Amendment by creating an "escape clause" to the poll tax. In lieu of paying the poll tax, a prospective voter could apply for a certificate establishing a place of residence in Virginia. The application had to be made six months prior to an election, a measure expected to decrease the number of eligible voters.
In the 1965 Supreme Court decision of Harman v. Forssenius, the Court unanimously found such measures unconstitutional and declared that, for federal elections, "the poll tax is abolished absolutely as a prerequisite to voting, and no equivalent or milder substitute may be imposed." This decision essentially was the death knell for the poll tax in Virginia.
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