(CN) – A group of Alabama residents lack standing to challenge the ratification of the state’s Constitution based on the systematic disenfranchisement of black voters in 1901, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled.
The residents sued Alabama’s secretary of state, attorney general, lieutenant governor and legislative leaders, claiming the 1901 Constitution was obtained through voter fraud.
Auburn University history professor Wayne Flynt supported the plaintiffs’ action with an affidavit stating that 12 “black belt” counties voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Constitution due to the systematic disenfranchisement of black voters.
For that reason, the plaintiffs asked for the Constitution to be declared void and unenforceable.
The state high court ordered the trial court to dismiss the case for lack of standing.
“While there may be evidence indicating that the voting rights of some African-American voters in Alabama were infringed in the ratification vote of 1901, we may safely conclude, based upon the passage of time, that none of those voters are presently before the court,” Justice Lyn Stuart wrote.