April 3


April 3, 1944 The Supreme Court of the United States in Smith v. Allwright overturned the Democratic Party’s use of all-white primaries in Texas and other states where the party used the rule. Lonnie E. Smith, a black voter in Texas, sued for the right to vote in a primary election being conducted by the Democratic Party. Texas claimed that the Democratic Party was a private organization that could set its own rules of membership. Because the Democratic Party controlled politics in the South, Smith argued that the law essentially disenfranchised him by denying him the ability to vote in what was the only meaningful election in his jurisdiction. Thurgood Marshall, representing the NAACP, argued the case for Smith.


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