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City of Mobile v. Bolden

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone

Citation. 446 U.S. 55, 100 S. Ct. 1490, 64 L. Ed. 2d 47, 1980 U.S. 121.

Brief Fact Summary. Each of Mobile, Alabama’s City Commissioners was elected under an at-large voting scheme. No black had ever been elected to the Commission. The Appellees, Bolden and others (Appellees), challenged the constitutionality of the at-large system.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. At-large electoral schemes are invalid only if their purpose is invidiously to minimize or cancel out the voting potential of racial or ethnic minorities.

Facts. Mobile Alabama was governed by a City Commission consisting of three commissioners. Each of the three commissioners was elected by the residents of the city at-large. Although Mobile has a substantial black population, no black has ever been elected to the Commission. The Appellees challenged the at-large system on Equal Protection grounds.

Issue. Did the at-large electoral system of mobile unconstitutionally dilute the voting strength of blacks?

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