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Rosario v. Rockefeller

States' Rights, Party Raiding, Groups' Rights


Pedro J. Rosario, et al.


Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of the State of New York, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That New York State's law requiring voters to enroll in a party thirty days before a general election to vote in the following year's primary was unconstitutional.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Burt Neuborne

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

A. Seth Greenwald

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart (writing for the Court), Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr.


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

21 March 1973


That the New York law did not discriminate against the petitioners, and was thus constitutional.


The case set a limit on what qualified as a "group" of people who could not be discriminated against in state regulation of voting. The Supreme Court determined that people who could have enrolled, but did not, did not constitute a group.

Related Cases

  • NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449 (1958).
  • Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186 (1962).
  • Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964).
  • Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964).
  • Carrington v. Rash, 380 U.S. 89 (1965).
  • Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969).
  • Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330 (1972).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980