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Equal Protection – Voting Rights

Veitch v. Friday, [Ms. 1180152, June 30, 2020] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2020).  The Court (Mitchell, J.; Parker, C.J., and Wise, Bryan, and Stewart, JJ., concur; Shaw, Sellers, and Mendheim, JJ., concur in the result; Bolin, J., recuses) declares Act No. 138, Ala. Acts 1953 unconstitutional. Act No. 138 prohibits residents of the Bessemer Cutoff from voting in primary elections for the position of Jefferson County District Attorney.  The Court holds

“[t]he Jefferson County D.A. has the statutory authority to displace the Bessemer Division D.A. and exercise his powers in the Bessemer Cutoff.  Because residents of the Bessemer Cutoff are subject to the prosecutorial power of the Jefferson County D.A., they have an equal interest with other Jefferson County residents in who occupies that office.  Despite that equal interest, Act No. 138 denies voters in the Bessemer Cutoff the right to participate in the primary election for Jefferson County D.A.  That discrimination violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and renders Act No. 138 unconstitutional.”

Ms. *24.

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