Sunday, March 25, 2012

Katzenbach v. Morgan case brief

Katzenbach v. Morgan (1966) Deferred to Congress

Issue: Constitutionality of section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which says that if a person has finished 6th grade in a school in Puerto Rico with Spanish instruction cannot be denied the right to vote b/c of an English literacy requirement, challenged by NY.
Holding: SC upheld provision as “a proper exercise of the powers granted to Congress by §5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Rational basis applied, deferential posture to Congress. A positive grant of authority to Congress.
Suggests that Congress under §5 of the 14th A. may independently interpret the Constitution and overturn the SC.
Dissent: Harlan, Stewart argued that the majority gives Congress too much power. Said essentially Congress could define away the rights they are trying to enforce. Implications of majority opinion are that judicial review becomes ridiculous.

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