Grandfather Clause

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  • An exception that allows an old rule to apply to a current situation, while a new rule applies to all other current and future cases. It is often used to indicate that an exception has been granted. The original grandfather clause was in the Jim Crow laws to prevent certain groups, particularly people of color, from voting. Exemptions from poll taxes and literacy tests were made for those who had descendants who were able to vote before the American Civil War.


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