Civil Rights: R.I.P.

Acting on a plea from five Virginia Negroes, the Supreme Court last week outlawed the poll tax, one of America's first and last barriers to full Negro suffrage. Though only four states—Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas—still retained the tax for state elections*(the 24th Amendment barred it in federal elections), it was nonetheless an effective deterrent to voting for many Southern Negroes.

The ruling comes in time for the spring primaries, and initially will have its most significant impact in Alabama, where thousands of Negroes registered under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have not paid the poll tax in anticipation of...

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