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America's Lone Star ConstitutionHow Supreme Court Cases from Texas Shape the Nation$
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Lucas A. Powe Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520297807

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520297807.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

The All-White Primary

The All-White Primary

(p.15) One The All-White Primary
America's Lone Star Constitution

Lucas A. Powe Jr.

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the legal battles sparked by the all-white primary that was adopted in Texas in 1923 and how the Supreme Court handled the cases. In 1923, the Texas legislature adopted the all-white primary, declaring that “in no event shall a negro be eligible to participate in a Democratic Party primary election.” The legislation left blacks who paid the poll tax free to cast a meaningless vote in the general election. The first challenge to the state's all-white primary was initiated by Lawrence A. Nixon at the behest of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and with the help of the national NAACP. The Supreme Court decision in that case, Nixon v. Herndon, is examined, along with three other cases challenging Texas's all-white primary: Grovey v. Townsend, United States v. Classic, and Smith v. Allwright.

Keywords:   all-white primary, Texas, Supreme Court, blacks, Lawrence A. Nixon, NAACP, Nixon v. Herndon, Grovey v. Townsend, United States v. Classic, Smith v. Allwright

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