Kramer v. Union Free School District
395 U.S. 621 (1969)
New York had a law (New
York Education Law §2012) that said
that in order to vote in school board elections, a person must either have
custody of a kid in school, or own property in the district (and thus have
an interest in how their property taxes were spent)
The idea was to limit voting
to those affected by school board decisions.
Kramer had no children nor a
house, but he wanted to vote. He sued, arguing that §2012 was an unconstitutional violation of the Equal
Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The School District argued
that §2012 was designed to limit
voting to those with knowledge and interest in the outcome.
The Trial Court found for the
School District, Kramer appealed.
The Appellate Court found for
the School District, Kramer appealed.
The US Supreme Court reversed
and found §2012 to be
The US Supreme Court found voting
to be a fundamental right, and so
they applied a strict scrutiny
The Court found that
restrictions on voting are unconstitutional unless there is a compelling
In this case, the Court did
not find the School District's interest to be narrowly tailored enough to withstand strict scrutiny.
Because it was possible to
be knowledgeable and interested in the school board elections without
having kids or paying property taxes.
This case did leave open the
possibility that a voting restriction could be constitutional if it were narrowly