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Mon, 06.16.1969

Kramer v. Union Free School is Decided

*On this date in 1969, Kramer v. Union Free School District No. 15, 395 U.S. 621 was decided.  

This was a United States Supreme Court decision in which the Court struck down a longstanding New York State statute requiring that to be eligible to vote in certain school district elections; an individual must either own or rent taxable real property within the school district, be the spouse of a property owner or lessor, or be the parent or guardian of a child attending a public school in the district.

By a 5-to-3 vote, the court held that these voting requirements violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  In the wake of the decision, the New York State Legislature amended Education Law § 2012 to eliminate the restrictions the Supreme Court had invalidated. Under current New York law, any United States citizen who has resided in a school district for more than 30 days is eligible to register and vote in the district's elections (except for the residents of New York's five largest cities, which do not have school board elections at all).  

In the years after Kramer was handed down, the Court cut back on the reach of the Kramer decision, though it has never been overruled.  This case represents the ongoing legal fight against American voter suppression. Years later, Morris Kramer, interviewed in a community newspaper, termed his career as a "civic and environmental activist" on Long Island.  

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