1 minute read

Rogers v. Lodge

Significance, The Lower Courts Rule, The Supreme Court Rules, Dissenting Voices


Quentin Rogers, et al.


Herman Lodge, et al.

Appellants' Claim

That Burke County's election system for county commissioners violated the rights of African American citizens by watering down their voting power.

Chief Lawyer for Appellants

E. Freeman Leverett

Chief Lawyer for Appellees

David F. Walbert

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O'Connor, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

1 July 1982


Upheld the lower court's ruling that Burke County's election system was discriminatory against African Americans.


In the years that followed, the Court wrestled with the question of the inherent unconstitutionality of at-large voting arrangements. Its inability to establish an absolute standard for defining electoral discrimination is reflected in the unusually vehement dissents. The U.S. Congress, through amendments to the Voting Rights Act and other legislation, attempted to address the problem of minority disenfranchisement through statutory means.

Related Cases

  • Fortson v. Dorsey, 379 U.S. 433 (1965).
  • Burns v. Richardson, 384 U.S. 73 (1966).
  • Whitcomb v. Chavis, 396 U.S. 1064 (1971).
  • White v. Regester, 412 U.S. 755 (1973).
  • Richmond v. United States, 422 U.S. 358 (1975).
  • Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U.S. 55 (1980).
  • Thornburgh v. Gingles, 478 U.S. 30 (1986).

Further Readings

  • Davis, Olethia. "Tenuous Interpretation: Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act." National Civic Review, fall-winter 1995, p. 310.
  • Encyclopedia of the American Constitution New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States New York: Oxford Press, 1992.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988