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JAMES V. VALTIERRA, 402 U. S. 137 (1971)

U.S. Supreme Court

James v. Valtierra, 402 U.S. 137 (1971)

James v. Valtierra

No. 154

Argued March 3, 1971

Decided April 26, 1971*

402 U.S. 137


Appellees, who are eligible for low-cost public housing, challenged the requirement of Art. XXXIV of the California Constitution that no low-rent housing project be developed, constructed, or acquired by any state public body without the approval of a majority of those voting at a community election, as violative of the Supremacy, Privileges and Immunities, and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution. A three-judge District Court enjoined the enforcement of the referendum provision on the ground that it denied appellees equal protection of the laws, relying chiefly on Hunter v. Erickson, 393 U. S. 385.

Held: The California procedure for mandatory referendums, which is not limited to proposals involving low-cost public housing, ensures democratic decisionmaking, and does not violate the Equal Protection Clause. Hunter v. Erickson, supra, distinguished. Pp. 404 U. S. 140-143.

313 F.Supp. 1, reversed and remanded.

BLACK, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and HARLAN, STEWART, and WHITE, JJ., joined. MARSHALL, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BRENNAN and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined, post, p. 404 U. S. 143. DOUGLAS, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the cases.

Page 404 U. S. 138

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