In 1964, the city council of Akron, Ohio (defendant) passed an ordinance guaranteeing equal housing opportunities regardless of characteristics such as race, national origin, or religion. But before the city implemented the ordinance, Akron’s voters passed a charter amendment that required voter approval of any ordinance regulating the sale or rental of real property based on those same characteristics. A black citizen, Nellie Hunter (plaintiff), sued to compel implementation of the 1964 ordinance. The Ohio trial court ruled that the charter amendment nullified the equal housing opportunity ordinance, and the Ohio Supreme Court agreed, finding the charter amendment did not violate the equal protection clause. Hunter appealed to the United States Supreme Court.