The petitioner, R. R. Grovey, allegedly a citizen of the United States and of Texas, and possessing all the qualifications of a voter, was refused a ballot for a Democratic party primary because he was of the Negro race. Grovey demanded ten dollars damages from the respondent, Albert Townsend, the county clerk, a state officer. The Revised Civil Statutes of Texas provide for primary elections and regulate absentee voting. When Grovey demanded of Townsend an absentee ballot it was refused in virtue of a resolution of the state Democratic convention of Texas, adopted May 24, 1932, as follows:
"Be it resolved, that all white citizens of the State of Texas who are qualified to vote under the Constitution and laws of the state shall be eligible to membership in the Democratic party and as such entitled to participate in its deliberations."
The complaint charged that "the respondent acted without legal excuse and his wrongful and unlawful acts constituted a violation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the Federal Constitution." Held, by the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, that there was no ground for holding that the respondent had "in obedience to the mandate of the law of Texas discriminated against the petitioner or denied him any right guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments." Grovey v. Townsend, (U.S. 1935) 55 Sup. Ct. 622.
Everett S. Brown,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - DISCRIMINATION AGAINST NEGROES - CONTROL OF PARTY MEMBERSHIP,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol33/iss6/11