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HADLEY V. JUNIOR COLL. DIST., 397 U. S. 50 (1970)

U.S. Supreme Court

Hadley v. Junior Coll. Dist., 397 U.S. 50 (1970)

Hadley v. Junior College District of Metropolitan Kansas City

No. 37

Argued November 10, 1969

Decided February 25, 1970

397 U.S. 50


Appellants, residents and taxpayers of the Kansas City School District, one of eight school districts constituting the Junior College District of Metropolitan Kansas City, brought this suit claiming that their right to vote for trustees of the district was unconstitutionally diluted in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment since their separate district contains approximately 60% of the total apportionment basis of the entire junior college district, but the state statutory formula results in the election of only 50% of the trustees from their district. The trial court's dismissal of the suit was upheld by the Missouri Supreme Court, which held the "one man, one vote" principle inapplicable.

Held: Whenever a state or local government by popular election selects persons to perform public functions, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that each qualified voter have an equal opportunity to participate in the election, and when members of an elected body are chosen from separate districts, each district must be established on a basis that, as far as practicable, will insure that equal numbers of voters can vote for proportionally equal numbers of officials. Avery v. Midland County, 390 U. S. 474. Pp. 397 U. S. 52-59.

432 S.W.2d 328, reversed and remanded.

Page 397 U. S. 51

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