Dunn v. Blumstein 405 U.S. 330 (1972)

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DUNN v. BLUMSTEIN 405 U.S. 330 (1972)

Tennessee restricted voting to persons with one year of residence in the state and three months in the county. The Supreme Court, 6–1, speaking through Justice thurgood marshall, held this limitation a denial of the equal protection of the laws. The durational residence requirements had to pass the test of strict scrutiny, both because they penalized exercise of the right to travel interstate and because they restricted the fundamental interest in voting. The state's asserted justifications for the requirements were not necessary for achieving compelling state interests. Fraud could be prevented by the less restrictive means of requiring registration thirty days before an election. The objective of an informed electorate bore only a tenuous relation to length of residence. Chief Justice warren e. burger dissented. The recently appointed Justices lewis f. powell and william h. rehnquist did not participate.

The following year, the Court approved fifty-day residency requirements in Marston v. Lewis (1973) and Burns v. Fortson (1973).

Kenneth L. Karst

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Dunn v. Blumstein 405 U.S. 330 (1972)

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