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The test case of Warfield v. Fallon et als., brought by the Wilson Club of the University against the registrars of Cambridge to decide whether students may vote was adjudged yesterday in favor of the petitioner. The case was first brought before Justice Sheldon of the Supreme Judicial Court sitting in Suffolk County. He referred it to the whole bench, which sent it down because of a mistake in the reservation, and the case was tried before Justice Braley. As the decision now stands, the fact that students are not self-supporting and that their parents reside in a town or city other than Cambridge does not prevent their voting here, if they make Cambridge their domicile.
There is no clear state ruling in regard to students' voting, the leading authority being the opinion given by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in 1843 on the application of the state legislature. At that time it was stated that the condition of being a student should not disqualify a man, but it was also added that there was a great probability that a student would not be a bona fide resident. It is this last clause which has left the question open. The registrars of Cambridge arbitrarily took the stand that no student should vote unless self-supporting, and accordingly refused to allow W. S. Warfield 3L. to register in order to vote in the presidential election last fall.
Case Taken Up.
The case was kindly undertaken for the Wilson Club by Mr. R. S. Hoar '09, attorney at law with the firm of Brandeis, Dunbar & Nutter, of Boston, and a petition for mandamus was brought to compel the assessors and registrars to assess and register the petitioner. Justice Braley has given the assessors and registrars until April 1 to assess and register Warfield and pay all expenses of the petitioners. If this is not done by that date, he will issue the writ. It is thought unlikely that the city authorities will in this case appeal to the full bench of the Supreme Court as they have a right to do.
Students vote at Columbia, Princeton, Boston University, and other colleges. Members of the University should be grateful to Mr. Hoar for his interest and success in conducting their case.
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