Smith V. Allwright

(321 U.S. 649 1944)
   In Smith v. Allwight, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Lonnie E. Smith, an African American from Houston, Texas, who had sued the state Democratic Party for excluding black voters from participating in the state primary. The court accepted the argument that as Texas was virtually a one-party state, exclusion from the primary effectively denied black voters of their franchise. In arriving at this decision, the court overturned its previous ruling in the 1935 case Grovey v. Townsend, when it had accepted exclusion of African Americans on the grounds that the Democratic Party was a private organization.
   See also Civil rights.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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