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Powell v. McCormack

United States Supreme Court
395 U.S. 486 (1969)



Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (plaintiff) was elected to serve the 18th District of New York in the United States House of Representatives in the 90th Congress. However, pursuant to a House Resolution, Powell was prevented from taking his seat. The resolution was passed in response to the results of an investigation in the 89th Congress which determined that Powell as Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor deceived the Congress as to his travel expenses and authorized inappropriate salary payments to his wife. When Powell was prevented from taking his seat, he and several of his constituents filed suit in federal district court against McCormack (defendant) and five other members of Congress, alleging that the House could only exclude Powell if he failed to meet the standing requirements of age, citizenship, and residence claimed in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution (requirements which the House found Powell met). The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Warren, C.J.)

Concurrence (Douglas, J.)

Dissent (Stewart, J.)

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