Poll Taxes Ruled Unconstitutional In State And Federal Elections

1966

In Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, the U.S. Supreme Court overrules its decision in Breedlove v. Suttles, declaring that the use of a poll tax at state elections is unconstitutional. The Court holds that such “invidious discrimination” based on economic status violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. As a result of this ruling and the earlier passage of the 24th Amendment, poll taxes cannot be used in either federal or state elections.