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VIRGINIA v. UNITED STATES ET AL.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES


*fn*: January 27, 1975.

VIRGINIA
v.
UNITED STATES ET AL.

Reported below: 386 F. Supp. 1319.

[ 420 U.S. Page 901]

Affirmed on appeal from D.C.D.C.

MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE POWELL join, dissenting.

I dissent from the Court's summary affirmance of judgment of the District Court for the District of Columbia, which denied Virginia's request to be exempted from coverage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Although the court agreed that Virginia had made a prima facie case for entitlement to relief, it nevertheless concluded that the continued use until 1965 of a minimal literacy requirement had the effect of discriminating on the basis

[ 420 U.S. Page 902]

     of race. The question of whether Virginia should remain subject to the extensive consequences of continuing federal oversight under the Act, in a case where the conceded prima facie showing suggests the absence of any demonstrable need for such oversight, warrants plenary consideration by this Court. This is especially true in view of the dubious relevance of the grounds relied upon by the District Court to overcome Virginia's prima facie showing.*fn* The fact that under the language of the present Act Virginia may well escape from federal tutelage sometime this year makes the case of less importance to her than it otherwise might be. But while this would be a sound reason for denying certiorari, it does not justify the Court's summary affirmance of the judgment of the District Court.


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