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Williams v. Mississippi

WILLIAMS V. MISSISSIPPI

WILLIAMS V. MISSISSIPPI, 170 U.S. 213 (1898), a test by Henry Williams, an African American, of Mississippi's constitution of 1890 and code of 1892, which required passage of a literacy test as a prerequisite to voting. Williams claimed that the franchise provisions denied blacks equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court decided on 25 April 1898 that mere possibility of discrimination was not grounds for invalidating the provisions. Mississippi's ingenious exclusion device thus was upheld and blacks continued to be disfranchised under it.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ayers, Edward L. The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Curtis, Michael K. No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1986.

MackSwearingen/a. r.

See alsoAfrican Americans ; Civil Rights and Liberties ; Disfranchisement ; Equal Protection of the Law ; Jim Crow Laws ; Mississippi Plan .

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