brown v board of education summary oyez

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Brown v. Board of Education

By: History.com Editors

Updated: February 27, 2024 | Original: October 27, 2009

Mother and Daughter at U.S. Supreme CourtNettie Hunt and her daughter Nickie sit on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Nettie explains to her daughter the meaning of the high court's ruling in the Brown Vs. Board of Education case that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a landmark 1954 Supreme Court case in which the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Brown v. Board of Education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement, and helped establish the precedent that “separate-but-equal” education and other services were not, in fact, equal at all.

Separate But Equal Doctrine 

In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that racially segregated public facilities were legal, so long as the facilities for Black people and whites were equal.

The ruling constitutionally sanctioned laws barring African Americans from sharing the same buses, schools and other public facilities as whites—known as “Jim Crow” laws —and established the “separate but equal” doctrine that would stand for the next six decades.

But by the early 1950s, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ( NAACP ) was working hard to challenge segregation laws in public schools, and had filed lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs in states such as South Carolina, Virginia and Delaware.

In the case that would become most famous, a plaintiff named Oliver Brown filed a class-action suit against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, in 1951, after his daughter, Linda Brown , was denied entrance to Topeka’s all-white elementary schools.

In his lawsuit, Brown claimed that schools for Black children were not equal to the white schools, and that segregation violated the so-called “equal protection clause” of the 14th Amendment , which holds that no state can “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The case went before the U.S. District Court in Kansas, which agreed that public school segregation had a “detrimental effect upon the colored children” and contributed to “a sense of inferiority,” but still upheld the “separate but equal” doctrine.

Brown v. Board of Education Verdict

When Brown’s case and four other cases related to school segregation first came before the Supreme Court in 1952, the Court combined them into a single case under the name Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka . 

Thurgood Marshall , the head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, served as chief attorney for the plaintiffs. (Thirteen years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson would appoint Marshall as the first Black Supreme Court justice.)

At first, the justices were divided on how to rule on school segregation, with Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson holding the opinion that the Plessy verdict should stand. But in September 1953, before Brown v. Board of Education was to be heard, Vinson died, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced him with Earl Warren , then governor of California .

Displaying considerable political skill and determination, the new chief justice succeeded in engineering a unanimous verdict against school segregation the following year.

In the decision, issued on May 17, 1954, Warren wrote that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,” as segregated schools are “inherently unequal.” As a result, the Court ruled that the plaintiffs were being “deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.”

Little Rock Nine

In its verdict, the Supreme Court did not specify how exactly schools should be integrated, but asked for further arguments about it.

In May 1955, the Court issued a second opinion in the case (known as Brown v. Board of Education II ), which remanded future desegregation cases to lower federal courts and directed district courts and school boards to proceed with desegregation “with all deliberate speed.”

Though well intentioned, the Court’s actions effectively opened the door to local judicial and political evasion of desegregation. While Kansas and some other states acted in accordance with the verdict, many school and local officials in the South defied it.

In one major example, Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas called out the state National Guard to prevent Black students from attending high school in Little Rock in 1957. After a tense standoff, President Eisenhower deployed federal troops, and nine students—known as the “ Little Rock Nine ”— were able to enter Central High School under armed guard.

Impact of Brown v. Board of Education

Though the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board didn’t achieve school desegregation on its own, the ruling (and the steadfast resistance to it across the South) fueled the nascent  civil rights movement  in the United States.

In 1955, a year after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery bus boycott and would lead to other boycotts, sit-ins and demonstrations (many of them led by Martin Luther King Jr .), in a movement that would eventually lead to the toppling of Jim Crow laws across the South.

Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 , backed by enforcement by the Justice Department, began the process of desegregation in earnest. This landmark piece of civil rights legislation was followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 .

Runyon v. McCrary Extends Policy to Private Schools

In 1976, the Supreme Court issued another landmark decision in Runyon v. McCrary , ruling that even private, nonsectarian schools that denied admission to students on the basis of race violated federal civil rights laws.

By overturning the “separate but equal” doctrine, the Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education had set the legal precedent that would be used to overturn laws enforcing segregation in other public facilities. But despite its undoubted impact, the historic verdict fell short of achieving its primary mission of integrating the nation’s public schools.

Today, more than 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education , the debate continues over how to combat racial inequalities in the nation’s school system, largely based on residential patterns and differences in resources between schools in wealthier and economically disadvantaged districts across the country.

brown v board of education summary oyez

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History – Brown v. Board of Education Re-enactment, United States Courts . Brown v. Board of Education, The Civil Rights Movement: Volume I (Salem Press). Cass Sunstein, “Did Brown Matter?” The New Yorker , May 3, 2004. Brown v. Board of Education, PBS.org . Richard Rothstein, Brown v. Board at 60, Economic Policy Institute , April 17, 2014.

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Background and case

Brown v. Board of Education

What is the significance of Brown v. Board of Education ?

What was the aftermath of brown v. board of education .

  • When did the American civil rights movement start?

Participants, some carry American flags, march in the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. in 1965. The Selma-to-Montgomery, Alabama., civil rights march, 1965. Voter registration drive, Voting Rights Act

Brown v. Board of Education

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Brown v. Board of Education

What did the Supreme Court decide in Brown v. Board of Education ?

In Brown v. Board of Education , the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The 1954 decision declared that separate educational facilities for white and African American students were inherently unequal.

Brown v. Board of Education is considered a milestone in American civil rights history and among the most important rulings in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, and the efforts to undermine the Court's decision, brought greater awareness to the racial inequalities that African Americans faced. The case also galvanized civil rights activists and increased efforts to end institutionalized racism throughout American society.

After the Brown v. Board of Education decision, there was wide opposition to desegregation, largely in the southern states. Violent protests erupted in some places, and others responded by implementing “school-choice” programs that subsidized white students’ attendance at private, segregated academies , which were not covered by the Brown ruling.

When was Brown v. Board of Education decided?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education on May 17, 1954. The case had been argued before the Court on December 9, 1952, and reargued on December 8, 1953.

Who was the attorney for the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education ?

In Brown v. Board of Education , the attorney for the plaintiffs was Thurgood Marshall . He later became, in 1967, the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brown v. Board of Education , case in which, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously (9–0) that racial segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution , which prohibits the states from denying equal protection of the laws to any person within their jurisdictions. The decision declared that separate educational facilities for white and African American students were inherently unequal. It thus rejected as inapplicable to public education the “ separate but equal ” doctrine, advanced by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), according to which laws mandating separate public facilities for whites and African Americans do not violate the equal protection clause if the facilities are approximately equal. Although the 1954 decision strictly applied only to public schools, it implied that segregation was not permissible in other public facilities. Considered one of the most important rulings in the Court’s history, Brown v. Board of Education helped inspire the American civil rights movement of the late 1950s and ’60s.

In the late 1940s the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) began a concentrated effort to challenge the segregated school systems in various states, including Kansas. There, in Topeka , the NAACP encouraged a number of African American parents to try to enroll their children in all-white schools. All of the parents’ requests were refused, including that of Oliver Brown. He was told that his daughter could not attend the nearby white school and instead would have to enroll in an African American school far from her home. The NAACP subsequently filed a class-action lawsuit. While it claimed that the education (including facilities, teachers, etc.) offered to African Americans was inferior to that offered to whites, the NAACP’s main argument was that segregation by its nature was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. A U.S. district court heard Brown v. Board of Education in 1951, and it ruled against the plaintiffs. While sympathetic to some of the plaintiffs’ claims, it determined that the schools were similar, and it cited the precedent set by Plessy and Gong Lum v. Rice (1927), which upheld the segregation of Asian Americans in grade schools. The NAACP then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

brown v board of education summary oyez

In October 1952 the Court consolidated Brown with three other class-action school-segregation lawsuits filed by the NAACP: Briggs v. Elliott (1951) in South Carolina , Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (1952) in Virginia , and Gebhart v. Belton (1952) in Delaware; there was also a fifth case that was filed independently in the District of Columbia , Bolling v. Sharpe (1951). As with Brown , U.S. district courts had decided against the plaintiffs in Briggs and Davis , ruling on the basis of Plessy that they had not been deprived of equal protection because the schools they attended were comparable to the all-white schools or would become so upon the completion of improvements ordered by the district court. In Gebhart , however, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the original plaintiffs’ right to equal protection had been violated because the African American schools were inferior to the white schools in almost all relevant respects. In Bolling v. Sharpe (1951), a U.S. district court held that school segregation did not violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment (the equal protection clause was not relevant since the Fourteenth Amendment only applies to states). The plaintiffs in Brown , Biggs , and Davis appealed directly to the Supreme Court, while those in Gebhart and Bolling were each granted certiorari (a writ for the reexamination of an action of a lower court).

Brown v. Board of Education was argued on December 9, 1952. The attorney for the plaintiffs was Thurgood Marshall , who later became the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court (1967–91). The case was reargued on December 8, 1953, to address the question of whether the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment would have understood it to be inconsistent with racial segregation in public education. The 1954 decision found that the historical evidence bearing on the issue was inconclusive.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (center), with other civil rights supporters lock arms on as they lead the way along Constitution Avenue during the March on Washington, Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963.

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Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

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In this milestone decision, the Supreme Court ruled that separating children in public schools on the basis of race was unconstitutional. It signaled the end of legalized racial segregation in the schools of the United States, overruling the "separate but equal" principle set forth in the 1896  Plessy v. Ferguson  case.

On May 17, 1954, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren delivered the unanimous ruling in the landmark civil rights case  Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas . State-sanctioned segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. This historic decision marked the end of the "separate but equal" precedent set by the Supreme Court nearly 60 years earlier in Plessy v. Ferguson and served as a catalyst for the expanding civil rights movement during the decade of the 1950s.

Arguments were to be heard during the next term to determine just how the ruling would be imposed. Just over one year later, on May 31, 1955, Warren read the Court's unanimous decision, now referred to as Brown II , instructing the states to begin desegregation plans "with all deliberate speed."

Despite two unanimous decisions and careful, if vague, wording, there was considerable resistance to the Supreme Court's ruling in  Brown v. Board of Education . In addition to the obvious disapproving segregationists were some constitutional scholars who felt that the decision went against legal tradition by relying heavily on data supplied by social scientists rather than precedent or established law. Supporters of judicial restraint believed the Court had overstepped its constitutional powers by essentially writing new law.

However, minority groups and members of the civil rights movement were buoyed by the  Brown  decision even without specific directions for implementation. Proponents of judicial activism believed the Supreme Court had appropriately used its position to adapt the basis of the Constitution to address new problems in new times. The Warren Court stayed this course for the next 15 years, deciding cases that significantly affected not only race relations, but also the administration of criminal justice, the operation of the political process, and the separation of church and state.

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SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (USSC+)

Argued December 9, 1952

Reargued December 8, 1953

Decided May 17, 1954

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS*

Segregation of white and Negro children in the public schools of a State solely on the basis of race, pursuant to state laws permitting or requiring such segregation, denies to Negro children the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment -- even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors of white and Negro schools may be equal.

(a) The history of the Fourteenth Amendment is inconclusive as to its intended effect on public education.

(b) The question presented in these cases must be determined not on the basis of conditions existing when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted, but in the light of the full development of public education and its present place in American life throughout the Nation.

(c) Where a State has undertaken to provide an opportunity for an education in its public schools, such an opportunity is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.

(d) Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprives children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal.

(e) The "separate but equal" doctrine adopted in Plessy v. Ferguson , 163 U.S. 537, has no place in the field of public education.

(f) The cases are restored to the docket for further argument on specified questions relating to the forms of the decrees.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court. These cases come to us from the States of Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware. They are premised on different facts and different local conditions, but a common legal question justifies their consideration together in this consolidated opinion.

In each of the cases, minors of the Negro race, through their legal representatives, seek the aid of the courts in obtaining admission to the public schools of their community on a nonsegregated basis. In each instance, they had been denied admission to schools attended by white children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to race. This segregation was alleged to deprive the plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment. In each of the cases other than the Delaware case, a three-judge federal district court denied relief to the plaintiffs on the so-called "separate but equal" doctrine announced by this Court in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537. Under that doctrine, equality of treatment is accorded when the races are provided substantially equal facilities, even though these facilities be separate. In the Delaware case, the Supreme Court of Delaware adhered to that doctrine, but ordered that the plaintiffs be admitted to the white schools because of their superiority to the Negro schools.

The plaintiffs contend that segregated public schools are not "equal" and cannot be made "equal," and that hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws. Because of the obvious importance of the question presented, the Court took jurisdiction. Argument was heard in the 1952 Term, and reargument was heard this Term on certain questions propounded by the Court.

Reargument was largely devoted to the circumstances surrounding the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. It covered exhaustively consideration of the Amendment in Congress, ratification by the states, then-existing practices in racial segregation, and the views of proponents and opponents of the Amendment. This discussion and our own investigation convince us that, although these sources cast some light, it is not enough to resolve the problem with which we are faced. At best, they are inconclusive. The most avid proponents of the post-War Amendments undoubtedly intended them to remove all legal distinctions among "all persons born or naturalized in the United States." Their opponents, just as certainly, were antagonistic to both the letter and the spirit of the Amendments and wished them to have the most limited effect. What others in Congress and the state legislatures had in mind cannot be determined with any degree of certainty.

An additional reason for the inconclusive nature of the Amendment's history with respect to segregated schools is the status of public education at that time. In the South, the movement toward free common schools, supported by general taxation, had not yet taken hold. Education of white children was largely in the hands of private groups. Education of Negroes was almost nonexistent, and practically all of the race were illiterate. In fact, any education of Negroes was forbidden by law in some states. Today, in contrast, many Negroes have achieved outstanding success in the arts and sciences, as well as in the business and professional world. It is true that public school education at the time of the Amendment had advanced further in the North, but the effect of the Amendment on Northern States was generally ignored in the congressional debates. Even in the North, the conditions of public education did not approximate those existing today. The curriculum was usually rudimentary; ungraded schools were common in rural areas; the school term was but three months a year in many states, and compulsory school attendance was virtually unknown. As a consequence, it is not surprising that there should be so little in the history of the Fourteenth Amendment relating to its intended effect on public education.

In the first cases in this Court construing the Fourteenth Amendment, decided shortly after its adoption, the Court interpreted it as proscribing all state-imposed discriminations against the Negro race. The doctrine of "separate but equal" did not make its appearance in this Court until 1896 in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson , supra, involving not education but transportation. American courts have since labored with the doctrine for over half a century. In this Court, there have been six cases involving the "separate but equal" doctrine in the field of public education. In Cumming v. County Board of Education , 175 U.S. 528, and Gong Lum v. Rice , 275 U.S. 78, the validity of the doctrine itself was not challenged. In more recent cases, all on the graduate school level, inequality was found in that specific benefits enjoyed by white students were denied to Negro students of the same educational qualifications. Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada , 305 U.S. 337; Sipuel v. Oklahoma , 332 U.S. 631; Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629; McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents , 339 U.S. 637. In none of these cases was it necessary to reexamine the doctrine to grant relief to the Negro plaintiff. And in Sweatt v. Painter , supra, the Court expressly reserved decision on the question whether Plessy v. Ferguson should be held inapplicable to public education.

In the instant cases, that question is directly presented. Here, unlike Sweatt v. Painter , there are findings below that the Negro and white schools involved have been equalized, or are being equalized, with respect to buildings, curricula, qualifications and salaries of teachers, and other "tangible" factors. Our decision, therefore, cannot turn on merely a comparison of these tangible factors in the Negro and white schools involved in each of the cases. We must look instead to the effect of segregation itself on public education.

In approaching this problem, we cannot turn the clock back to 1868, when the Amendment was adopted, or even to 1896, when Plessy v. Ferguson was written. We must consider public education in the light of its full development and its present place in American life throughout the Nation. Only in this way can it be determined if segregation in public schools deprives these plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws.

Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, even service in the armed forces. It is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.

We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.

In Sweatt v. Painter , supra, in finding that a segregated law school for Negroes could not provide them equal educational opportunities, this Court relied in large part on "those qualities which are incapable of objective measurement but which make for greatness in a law school." In McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents , supra, the Court, in requiring that a Negro admitted to a white graduate school be treated like all other students, again resorted to intangible considerations: ". . . his ability to study, to engage in discussions and exchange views with other students, and, in general, to learn his profession." Such considerations apply with added force to children in grade and high schools. To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone. The effect of this separation on their educational opportunities was well stated by a finding in the Kansas case by a court which nevertheless felt compelled to rule against the Negro plaintiffs:

Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly] integrated school system.

Whatever may have been the extent of psychological knowledge at the time of Plessy v. Ferguson , this finding is amply supported by modern authority. Any language in Plessy v. Ferguson contrary to this finding is rejected.

We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. This disposition makes unnecessary any discussion whether such segregation also violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Because these are class actions, because of the wide applicability of this decision, and because of the great variety of local conditions, the formulation of decrees in these cases presents problems of considerable complexity. On reargument, the consideration of appropriate relief was necessarily subordinated to the primary question -- the constitutionality of segregation in public education. We have now announced that such segregation is a denial of the equal protection of the laws. In order that we may have the full assistance of the parties in formulating decrees, the cases will be restored to the docket, and the parties are requested to present further argument on Questions 4 and 5 previously propounded by the Court for the reargument this Term The Attorney General of the United States is again invited to participate. The Attorneys General of the states requiring or permitting segregation in public education will also be permitted to appear as amici curiae upon request to do so by September 15, 1954, and submission of briefs by October 1, 1954.

It is so ordered.

* Together with No. 2, Briggs et al. v. Elliott et al. , on appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina, argued December 9-10, 1952, reargued December 7-8, 1953; No. 4, Davis et al. v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia, et al. , on appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, argued December 10, 1952, reargued December 7-8, 1953, and No. 10, Gebhart et al. v. Belton et al. , on certiorari to the Supreme Court of Delaware, argued December 11, 1952, reargued December 9, 1953.

Case: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

5:51-cv-04316 | u.s. district court for the district of kansas.

Filed Date: Feb. 28, 1951

Closed Date: July 27, 1999

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Case Name: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

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Case summary.

This is the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court announced in 1954 that segregated schools were inherently unequal, and in 1955 required school districts to desegregate "with all deliberate speed." It is the most famous civil rights case in American history. But it also had a specific set of plaintiffs -- schoolchildren in Topeka, Kansas -- and a specific history in its own community. This summary focuses on that history, rather than the broader setting and the Supreme Court jurisprudence.

On February 28, 1951, a group of black parents and children residing in the Topeka, Kansas, school district filed, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, a complaint naming as defendants the district's school board and certain school administrators. The plaintiffs were represented by local NAACP cooperating attorney Charles Bledsoe and sought class action status for their case, which they filed citing what was then 8 U.S.C. § 43, part of the Civil Rights Act of 1870. Their complaint alleged that the defendants, acting pursuant to state statute, denied the plaintiff's equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment by operating separate public schools for white and black children, denying black children the right to enroll in and attend the schools attended by similarly-situated white children. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants' conduct denied, solely on the basis of "race and color," to the child plaintiffs educational advantages, opportunities and facilities equal to those provided to white children, and that the black children forced by state law to attend racially-segregated schools "do not and cannot" enjoy the educational benefits afforded to whites. The plaintiffs alleged that some black students had to travel two miles farther to attend an all-black school than if allowed to attend the nearest all-white school. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorneys' fees, and asked that the court convene a three judge panel, then required by 28 U.S.C. § 2281, to consider the constitutionality of the state statute.

On March 22, 1951, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint making the same basic allegations and seeking the same relief. It named as an intervening defendant the State of Kansas. The amended complaint was itself amended on May 29, 1951, when plaintiffs' counsel amended a paragraph to specify that the education opportunities provided by the defendants to the plaintiff children were inferior to those provided to white children in numerous respects, including "physical facilities, curricula, teaching, resources, student personnel services, access, and all other educational factors, tangible and intangible...." Moreover, the amended paragraph alleged that, apart from all other factors, the racial segregation practiced by the defendants "in and of itself" constituted an inferiority in educational opportunity offered to blacks, when compared to that offered to whites.

The school board's June 7, 1951, answer denied the claimed violations of constitutional rights. It also sought to correct or clarify certain claims made in the complaint, asserting that the operation of separate schools only occurred in the district's elementary-level facilities, that the city had but a single district with multiple attendance territories, that it provided free transportation for black children to any of the four black elementary schools operated for them in the district while providing no transportation for white elementary school students, and that, on average, the distances traveled to schools by black and by white children were the same. The state's answer, filed on June 15, 1951, generally denied the plaintiffs' allegations, specifically denying that the state statute was unconstitutional (and added, as had the other defendants' answer, that the plaintiffs' complaint had mis-cited the state statute of which they complained, by citing one applicable to cities of the second class, whereas Topeka was a city of the first class). The state also asserted that the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. That claim must have been rejected in an unpublished ruling, for the case was tried that summer.

After a trial of approximately ten days, on August 3, 1951, the three-judge panel sitting as the district court issued its opinion upholding the state statute and denying the plaintiffs' claims for relief. The court briefly reviewed the issues of facilities, curricula, instruction, and travel, finding that comparable educational facilities and services were provided to students of both races. It concluded that in the maintenance and operation of the separate schools "there is no willful, intentional or material discrimination." Recognizing that prior Supreme Court precedent (including Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)) allowing segregation in state-provided services seemed, to some degree, undercut by recent Supreme Court decisions, the district court adjudged that the prior cases, not having been overruled, controlled. Brown v. Board of Education, 96 F. Supp. 797 (D. Ks. 1951) (Circuit Judge Walter August Huxman). The plaintiffs appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, as then permitted under 28 U.S.C. § 1253.

At the Supreme Court, the Kansas case was heard along with three other cases (from South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware) challenging segregation in public education. These other cases, two of which had elementary and high school age plaintiffs and one with only high school age plaintiffs, all involved state constitutions and statutes that required segregation in public education. In contrast, the Kansas statute permitted, but did not require, cities above a certain population to maintain racially-separate school facilities. (Topeka's school board had elected to maintain segregated elementary schools.) In the South Carolina and Virginia cases, the lower federal courts found the black students' schools to have been inferior and the states were directed to equalize the facilities and services; however, the states' segregation laws were upheld and the plaintiffs were not provided access to the white students' schools during the mandated equalization programs. In the Delaware case, a state trial court awarded the plaintiffs an order requiring their immediate admission to the white students' schools. The trial court cited the inferiority of the schools the state had provided to black students and accepted the view that segregation itself results in an inferior education. Delaware's Supreme Court affirmed but intimated that, once equalization of the two sets of schools had been accomplished, the state might be able to obtain a modification of the decree.

On May 17, 1954, after twice having the parties and the United States, as amicus curiae, argue the case, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion declaring that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal, and therefore deprived the plaintiffs of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (Earl Warren, Chief Justice). In the four cases at issue, the lower courts had found the separate schools' "tangible" factors equal (or satisfactorily becoming so); accordingly, the Supreme Court focused on the "effect" of segregation itself on public education. In view of the importance of education as a state-provided function, the Court stated that once a state has undertaken to provide educational opportunity it must make the right available to all on equal terms. Chief Justice Warren quoted the Kansas district court's observation that public school segregation has a detrimental effect which is greater when sanctioned by law, denoting black inferiority and affecting motivation to learn. He found this observation amply supported by modern psychological authority, citing several recent studies and reports. Recognizing the wide applicability of its decision and the variety of local conditions to which it must be applied, the Court requested the parties and the United States to again argue the case, specifically to address the formulation of remedial decrees. In addition to restoring the case to the docket for further argument, the Court also invited amicus curiae briefs from those states requiring or permitting segregation in public education.

(In something of a sidelight to this historic decision, years later an internal memorandum became available which revealed the thoughts of a then-law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson about the school desegregation cases. The law clerk, William H. Rehnquist, later became a member of the Court (and its Chief Justice) but, as a law clerk in the early 1950's, he wrote that the desegregation cases' plaintiffs were wrongly asking the Court to read its own sociological views and personal moral preferences into the Constitution. In his view, Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be re-affirmed. As the unanimous decision reflects, Justice Jackson did not follow his law clerk's advice.)

The Supreme Court's next decision in the case occurred on May 31, 1955. In another unanimous opinion, again written by Chief Justice Warren, the Court remanded the cases to the trial courts for the crafting of appropriate decrees. The opinion observed that these courts were best suited to assess local conditions and the good faith efforts of local school officials to implement governing constitutional principles. The lower courts were reminded to consider the plaintiffs' personal interests in admission to public schools "as soon as practicable" on a nondiscriminatory basis, as well as the public interest in eliminating obstacles to such relief in an "orderly and systematic" manner. The courts were directed to require the defendants to make a "prompt and reasonable start toward full compliance" with the earlier ruling. This imprecise timeframe for action was not appreciably honed by the Court's directive that the lower courts, on remand, should "take such proceedings and enter such orders and decrees consistent with this opinion as are necessary and proper to admit to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed the parties to these cases." (The Delaware case, having been the sole affirmance of the four appealed cases, was remanded to that state's Supreme Court for proceedings it deemed necessary.) Brown v. Board of Education, 399 U.S. 294 (1955).

On remand in the Brown case, in Topeka, on August 2, 1955, the Kansas plaintiffs filed a motion in the district court for a hearing on the formulation of a decree. The hearing occurred on August 24, 1955, followed by issuance of a per curiam opinion by the three judge court on October 28, 1955. The court approved the plan the school board put in force for that school year. The plan's central principle was that children would be required to attend school within the district of their residence, with rare exceptions, and that race or color would not be any part of any exception to the general rule. Although the court viewed as insufficient one aspect of the plan, allowing (for that year only) kindergarten children to opt to attend schools inside or out of their residence district, the court decided that the plan sufficiently reflected the good faith of school authorities in attempting to adhere to the Supreme Court's rulings. The court also noted that at least one all-black school would, because of residence demographics, remain all-black. This result was acceptable, reasoned the court, because desegregation did not require intermingling but, instead, that children not be prevented from going to school together because of race or color. (This conceptualization of the desegregation obligation was later disapproved by the Supreme Court in Green v. School Board of New Kent County and Swann w. Charlotte/Mecklenberg.) The court retained jurisdiction over the case and regarded acceptance of the school board's plan as an interim measure.

The docket is devoid of any subsequent activity of importance until 1979. At that point, represented by private counsel, a group of black parents and schoolchildren filed a motion in the case to intervene as plaintiffs. They also filed a motion asking the court to command compliance with the earlier ruling to desegregate Topeka's schools. District Judge Richard Dean Rogers granted the motion to intervene. Brown v. Board of Education, 84 F.R.D. 383 (D. Kan. 1979). He noted that four separate cases had been filed during that decade seeking to eliminate alleged racial discrimination in Topeka's schools and that, in at least two of them, the state and the school board's successful positions had been that the plaintiffs in those cases should not be permitted to proceed and, instead, should file motions seeking relief in Brown v. Board of Education, since the court had expressly retained jurisdiction to enforce compliance with the Constitution. The intervening plaintiffs alleged (1) the school board had created attendance zones that perpetuate racial discrimination, (2) schools with predominately black enrollment had facilities, equipment, curricula, and instruction substantially inferior to that provided in schools with predominately white enrollment, (3) racial disparity existed in school personnel assignments, (4) the school board had adopted an open enrollment policy perpetuating school segregation, and (5) the board adopted a long range facilities plan which also perpetuated school segregation. Without resolving any of these claims, Judge Rogers made the procedural ruling that the movants could appropriately intervene as plaintiffs. He found it unpersuasive that passage of time had mooted the original plaintiffs' interest in the case, because the case was a class action (even though modern procedures for certifying a class action did not exist when the case had begun) and the intervenors had appropriate interests in seeking compliance with the Supreme Court's earlier orders.

Discovery and motion proceedings followed, as did a trial, which resulted in the district court's order of April 9, 1987. Brown v. Board of Education, 671 F. Supp. 1290 (D. Kan. 1987). Reviewing the case's history as well as other desegregation rulings, Judge Rogers observed that, in determining whether a unitary school system existed, he would assess whether characteristics of the dual system existing in 1954 either do not exist or, if they exist, whether they are not the result of past or present intentional segregative conduct of the defendants or their predecessors. He then reviewed the history of desegregation efforts in the Topeka schools, noting that some desegregation, at the high school level, preceded the 1951 filing of this case. The trial evidence included statistics which, according to the plaintiffs, demonstrated a lack of racial balance in the district's schools, in the sense that many schools' racial mix did not reflect the racial mix of the district. The judge, however, saw the statistics as a result of residential patterns, not as remnants of past discrimination nor of present intentionally discriminatory conduct. He added that the plaintiffs had not presented sufficient evidence for him to find that the residential patterns were the product of discriminatory conduct. Likewise, school transfer policies, attendance zone decisions, school space and site decisions, school closings and openings, school boundary locations, facilities quality, activities and curriculum, transportation, faculty and staff assignments, test scores, opportunities to take desegregative action, and other factors were reviewed and found racially neutral. Judge Rogers stated that the existence of some schools having a statistical predominance of one race was not the product of overt or covert intentionally segregative conduct. Thus, the new plaintiffs also could not prevail on their claim that the defendants violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, since that act prohibits only intentional discrimination in operation of schools receiving federal funds and the act's implementing regulations prohibiting racially discriminatory effects had not been shown to have been violated. Judge Rogers also ruled that the Kansas governor was dismissed as a defendant and that no evidence established liability of the state's school board. The public school system in Topeka was adjudged a unitary one. The plaintiffs' claims for relief were denied and they were ordered to pay the defendants' costs.

With assistance from ACLU attorneys, plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In a lengthy opinion, the appellate court upheld, 2-1, limited aspects of the district court's ruling but reversed the lower court's main conclusions. Brown v. Board of Education, 892 F.2d 851 (10th Cir. 1989) (Circuit Judge Stephanie Kulp Seymour). In sum, Judge Seymour faulted the district court's placing the burden of proving intentional discrimination on the plaintiffs, rather than according plaintiffs the presumption that existing racial disparities in the school system were causally related to past discriminatory conduct. Reviewing the evidence with the burden of proof properly assigned, the appellate court concluded that the defendants had failed in meeting their burden of proving that the effects of past intentional discrimination had dissipated. The lower court's ruling on the alleged Title VI violation also was error, according to Judge Seymour, who affirmed the district court's dismissal of the state's governor from the case and the finding that the state's recently-created school board had no liability.

The defendants sought review in the U.S. Supreme Court. In a brief order, Brown v. Board of Education, 503 U.S. 978 (1992), that court granted certiorari, vacated the Tenth Circuit's judgment, and remanded the case for further proceedings in light of two recent Supreme Court decisions, Freeman v. Pitts, 503 U.S. 467 (1992), and Bd. of Educ. of Oklahoma City v. Dowell, 498 U.S. 237 (1991), each of which suggested that district courts should aim in school desegregation cases to relinquish jurisdiction when possible.

On remand, the appellate court reinstated its prior opinion in full, again citing the local school board's failure of proof and its' inaction rather than taking sufficient affirmative steps in the area of student and faculty/staff assignments to eliminate the vestiges of past discrimination. Judge Seymour, again writing for a 2-1 court, was of the view that the recent Supreme Court decisions changed nothing in the analysis. Brown v. Board of Education, 978 F.2d 585 (10th Cir. 1992). The Supreme Court declined review, so the case returned to the district court.

There, in a December 3, 1993, unpublished order, Judge Rogers stated that the issue before him was limited to the crafting of a remedial plan to eliminate the vestiges of de jure segregation in student and faculty/staff assignments. In his view, other aspects of the school system, such as educational performance, disciplinary outcomes, or classroom assignments were not part of the direct mandate from the Tenth Circuit. Discovery on remand was to be limited accordingly.

Also addressed on remand were the plaintiffs' motions for recovery of their attorneys' fees and litigation costs. The district court ruled that the fees would be calculated using local standards, rather than the higher rates prevailing in New York, where the ACLU attorneys were housed. Judge Rogers also ruled that volunteer paralegals' time spent on the case would not result in reimbursement, nor would counsel's travel time or secretarial and word processing costs. He decided, however, not to reduce the amount of recovery based on the fact that the plaintiffs were not fully successful. Brown v. Unified School District No. 501, 878 F. Supp. 1430 (D. Kan. 1995).

In 1999, the district court made its final ruling in the case. The ruling resulted from the motion of the defendant for a declaration of unitary status and order of dismissal. The plaintiffs did not oppose the motion. In ruling on the motion, Judge Rogers considered that the school board, after the most recent remand from the appellate court, had adopted and implemented a remedial plan with guidelines which prevented any school from being identified as a majority or minority school on the basis of the race of its faculty and staff. Likewise, the plan addressed student assignments at individual elementary, middle, and high schools in a way that, in recent years, kept minority and majority student populations within 15% of the minority and majority student figures for the district at large. The court also noted the defendant's on-going multi-cultural education programs for students, faculty, and staff, and an announced commitment to diversity and intolerance of discrimination. Granting the motion for a declaration of unitary status for the school district, Judge Rogers ruled that the vestiges of past discrimination in the school district had been eliminated to the extent practicable; and defendant had demonstrated a good faith commitment to the law and the Constitution which presaged no future need for judicial intervention. He dismissed the case on July 27, 1999. Brown v. Unified School District No. 501, 56 F. Supp.2d 1212 (D. Kan. 1999).

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Mike Fagan (5/8/2008)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Date / Type

51-00316

March 12, 1993

March 12, 1993

Docket

51-00316

Feb. 28, 1951

Feb. 28, 1951

Complaint

51-00316

March 22, 1951

March 22, 1951

Complaint

5:51-cv-04316

May 29, 1951

May 29, 1951

Complaint

5:51-cv-04316

June 7, 1951

June 7, 1951

Pleading / Motion / Brief

5:51-cv-04316

June 15, 1951

June 15, 1951

Pleading / Motion / Brief

51-00316

Aug. 3, 1951

Aug. 3, 1951

Order/Opinion

98 F.Supp. 98

5:51-cv-04316

Aug. 3, 1951

Aug. 3, 1951

Order/Opinion

0:52-00001

Supreme Court of the United States

Oct. 1, 1951

Oct. 1, 1951

Pleading / Motion / Brief

51-00316

July 8, 1952

July 8, 1952

Transcript
Date / External URL

Jan. 1, 2018

Jan. 1, 2018

Brown65

May 8, 2019

May 8, 2019

Oyez Project

May 31, 1955

May 31, 1955

The Library of Congress

Aug. 10, 2004

Aug. 10, 2004

Dr. Kenneth Clark, Henry Hampton Collection

Nov. 4, 1985

Nov. 4, 1985

Karl A. Cole-Frieman

Oct. 1, 1996

Oct. 1, 1996

None

Paul Wilson, Henry Hampton Collection

Oct. 26, 1985

Oct. 26, 1985

Robert Lee Carter, Henry Hampton Collection

Nov. 5, 1985

Nov. 5, 1985

Herbert Brownell, Henry Hampton Collection

Nov. 15, 1985

Nov. 15, 1985

Harry Briggs, Jr., Henry Hampton Collection

Nov. 2, 1985

Nov. 2, 1985

Eliza and Harry Briggs, Sr., Henry Hampton Collection

Oct. 25, 1985

Oct. 25, 1985

Last updated March 20, 2024, 3:18 a.m.

Date / Link
314

NOTICE OF APPEAL by plaintiffs from Dist. Court decision (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 03/15/1993)

May 7, 1987

May 7, 1987

315

APPEAL DOCKETED in 10th Circuit and assigned Dkt No. 87-1668 (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 03/15/1993)

May 18, 1987

May 18, 1987

342

LETTER from 10CCA stating petition for writ of cert filed 4/26/90 & assigned Supreme Court No. 89-1681 (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 03/15/1993)

May 10, 1990

May 10, 1990

343

ORDER ENTERED-US SUPREME COURT: Petition for writ of cert in Supreme Court No. 89-1681 (USCA No. 87-1668) --granted. Judgment vacated & case remanded to USCA for further consideration. (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 03/15/1993)

April 27, 1992

April 27, 1992

346

MANDATE, 10CCA: reversing decision of the district court & reinstating USCA's prior opinion. The cause is remanded to the USDC for the District of Kansas for further proceedings in accordance with the opinion of this court. [Appeal [314-1] (cc: all counsel) (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 03/15/1993)

March 12, 1993

March 12, 1993

347

CERTIFICATE of service of interr to USD 501, by intervenor-plaintiffs (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 04/16/1993)

April 15, 1993

April 15, 1993

348

LETTER from 10CCA stating petition for writ of cert was filed on 4/26/93 & assigned Supreme Court No. 92-1568 (USCA No. 87-1668) re: appeal [314-1] (ICMSUSER) Modified on 05/14/1993 (Entered: 05/14/1993)

May 14, 1993

May 14, 1993

349

MOTION by defendant USD 501 Topeka to extend time to 6/17/93 to answer or object to pltfs' 5th interr; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 05/17/1993)

May 17, 1993

May 17, 1993

350

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting deft USD 501s motion to extend time to 6/17/93 to answer or object to pltfs' 5th interr [349-1] (cc: all counsel) (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 05/18/1993)

May 18, 1993

May 18, 1993

351

MOTION by defendant USD 501 Topeka to extend time to 7/19/93 to respond to pltfs' 5th interr, referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 06/18/1993)

June 17, 1993

June 17, 1993

352

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting deft USD 501 Topeka's motion to extend time to 7/19/93 to respond to pltfs' 5th interr [351-1] (cc: all counsel) (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 06/18/1993)

June 18, 1993

June 18, 1993

353

LETTER from 10CCA stating petition for writ of cert was denied by Supreme Court on 6/21/93. Appeal #87-1668 (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 07/06/1993)

July 6, 1993

July 6, 1993

354

MOTION by defendant USD 501 Topeka for order extending time to answer or object to pltf's 5th set of interrogatories referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (CAM) (Entered: 07/19/1993)

July 19, 1993

July 19, 1993

356

CERTIFICATE of svc by defendant USD 501 Topeka of answers to pltf- intervenor's interrogatories & objections to pltf-intervenor's interrogatory (CAM) (Entered: 08/03/1993)

Aug. 2, 1993

Aug. 2, 1993

357

MOTION by plaintiffs for attorney fees and costs referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers with attachments. EXPANSION FOLDER (KM) (Entered: 08/19/1993)

Aug. 19, 1993

Aug. 19, 1993

358

MEMORANDUM of law in support by plaintiff re: motion for attorney fees and costs referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357-1] (KM) (Entered: 08/19/1993)

Aug. 19, 1993

Aug. 19, 1993

359

AFFIDAVIT of Charles S. Scott, Jr. re: motion for attorney fees and costs referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357-1] (KM) (Entered: 08/19/1993)

Aug. 19, 1993

Aug. 19, 1993

360

CERTIFICATE of mailing of affidavit and attached attorney fee statement by plaintiffs. (KM) (Entered: 08/20/1993)

Aug. 20, 1993

Aug. 20, 1993

361

MOTION by deft USD 501 to extend time until 10/3/93 to respond to pltf's application for attorneys fees and cost referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (VLW) (Entered: 08/31/1993)

Aug. 30, 1993

Aug. 30, 1993

362

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting motion by deft USD 501 to extend time until 10/3/93 to respond to pltf's application for attorneys fees and cost [361-1] (cc: all counsel) (LAK) (Entered: 09/02/1993)

Sept. 1, 1993

Sept. 1, 1993

363

ORDER ENTERED: by Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman Status Conference 9/20/93 at 1:30 pm (cc: all counsel) (LAK) (Entered: 09/02/1993)

Sept. 1, 1993

Sept. 1, 1993

364

SCHEDULING ORDER ENTERED: Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman Final Pretrial Conference set for 1:30 pm on 3/30/94. Trial set for 4/18/94 before RDR. Fact discovery ddl set for 1/15/94 (cc: all counsel) (LAK) (Entered: 09/23/1993)

Sept. 23, 1993

Sept. 23, 1993

365

MOTION by defendant USD 501 Topeka to extend time to resp to pltfs' application for attys' feses & costs; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (LAK) (Entered: 10/01/1993)

Sept. 30, 1993

Sept. 30, 1993

366

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting deft's (USD No. 501) motion to extend time (30) days or until 11/2/93 to resp to pltfs' application for attys' fees & costs [365-1] (cc: all counsel) (CEL) (Entered: 10/04/1993)

Oct. 4, 1993

Oct. 4, 1993

367

MOTION by plaintiffs to compel discovery & for costs referred to Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman (CAM) (Entered: 10/25/1993)

Oct. 20, 1993

Oct. 20, 1993

369

SUPPLEMENTAL AFFIDAVIT by plaintiffs re: motion for attorney fees and costs referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357-1] (CAM) (Entered: 10/26/1993)

Oct. 25, 1993

Oct. 25, 1993

370

MOTION by defendant USD 501 Topeka to extend time to respond to pltfs' application for attorneys' fees & costs; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (LAK) (Entered: 11/02/1993)

Nov. 2, 1993

Nov. 2, 1993

371

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting deft's motion to extend time to respond to pltfs' application for attorneys' fees & costs to 11/17/93 [370-1] (cc: all counsel) (LAK) (Entered: 11/04/1993)

Nov. 4, 1993

Nov. 4, 1993

372

RESPONSE by defendant to motion to compel discovery & for costs referred to Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman [367-1] (CAM) (Entered: 11/05/1993)

Nov. 5, 1993

Nov. 5, 1993

373

REPLY by plaintiffs to response to motion to compel discovery & for costs referred to Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman [367-1] (CAM) (Entered: 11/12/1993)

Nov. 12, 1993

Nov. 12, 1993

374

MOTION by defendant USD 501 Topeka for determination of issue of law prior to trial, referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (DO) (Entered: 11/15/1993)

Nov. 12, 1993

Nov. 12, 1993

375

MEMORANDUM/BRIEF in support by defendant USD 501 Topeka re: motion for determination of issue of law prior to trial, referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [374-1] (DO) (Entered: 11/15/1993)

Nov. 12, 1993

Nov. 12, 1993

376

ORDER ENTERED: by Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman overruling w/o prej for reassertion in compliance w/local rules motion for attorney Victor A. Bolden to appear pro hac vice [368-1] (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 11/16/1993)

Nov. 16, 1993

Nov. 16, 1993

377

CERTIFICATE of svc by intervening pltfs Charles Smith & Kimberly Smith of interrogatories & request for admission to be answered by authorized representative of USD (CAM) (Entered: 11/17/1993)

Nov. 17, 1993

Nov. 17, 1993

378

RESPONSE by defendant USD 501 Topeka to pltfs' motion for attorney fees and costs; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357-1] (LAK) (Entered: 11/19/1993)

Nov. 17, 1993

Nov. 17, 1993

379

MOTION by plaintiffs to extend time until 12/30/93 to reply to defts' response to pltfs' application for attorneys' fees and costs, referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (DO) (Entered: 11/26/1993)

Nov. 24, 1993

Nov. 24, 1993

380

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting pltfs' motion to extend time until 12/30/93 to reply to defts' response to pltfs' application for attorneys' fees and costs [379-1] (cc: all counsel) (LAK) (Entered: 11/29/1993)

Nov. 29, 1993

Nov. 29, 1993

382

MOTION by plaintiffs for attorney Victor A. Bolden to appear pro hac vice; referred to Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman (LAK) (Entered: 12/07/1993)

Dec. 3, 1993

Dec. 3, 1993

FILING FEE PAID: on 12/3/93 in the amount of $ 25.00, receipt # 033140 for pro hac vice fees for Victor A. Bolden (LAK) (Entered: 12/07/1993)

Dec. 3, 1993

Dec. 3, 1993

383

ORDER ENTERED: by Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman granting motion for attorney Victor A. Bolden to appear pro hac vice [382-1] (cc: all counsel) (LAK) (Entered: 12/10/1993)

Dec. 10, 1993

Dec. 10, 1993

384

CERTIFICATE of svc by defendant USD 501 Topeka of objections to pltf-intervenors' 6th set of interrogatories & request for production of documents (CAM) (Entered: 12/14/1993)

Dec. 13, 1993

Dec. 13, 1993

385

REPLY MEMORANDUM by plaintiffs to response to motion for attorney fees and costs referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357- 1] (CAM) (Entered: 01/03/1994)

Jan. 3, 1994

Jan. 3, 1994

386

REPLY by Charles S Scott to defendant's response to plaintiff's motion for attorney fees and costs referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357-1] (LH) (Entered: 01/04/1994)

Jan. 3, 1994

Jan. 3, 1994

387

MOTION by defendant USD 501 Topeka for permission to file surreply in response to pltfs' reply in support of pltfs' motion for fees & expenses referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (CAM) (Entered: 01/13/1994)

Jan. 12, 1994

Jan. 12, 1994

388

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting deft USD 501's motion for permission to file surreply in response to pltfs' reply in support of pltfs' motion for fees & expenses [387-1] (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 01/13/1994)

Jan. 13, 1994

Jan. 13, 1994

389

MOTION by plaintiffs to compel defts to respond to pltfs' 6th set of interrogatories w/brief in support referred to Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman (CAM) (Entered: 01/19/1994)

Jan. 18, 1994

Jan. 18, 1994

390

SURREBUTTAL MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT by defendant USD 501 Topeka of deft's opposition to pltfs' motion for fees and costs, referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357-1] (DO) (Entered: 01/25/1994)

Jan. 24, 1994

Jan. 24, 1994

391

SURREBUTTAL MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT by defendant USD 501 Topeka of deft's opposition to the motion of Charles Scott, Jr. for an award of attorney's fees and costs, referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357-1] (DO) (Entered: 01/25/1994)

Jan. 24, 1994

Jan. 24, 1994

392

RESPONSE by defendant USD 501 Topeka to motion to compel defts to respond to pltfs' 6th set of interrogatories w/brief in support referred to Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman [389-1] (DO) (Entered: 01/31/1994)

Jan. 29, 1994

Jan. 29, 1994

393

WITNESS & EXHIBIT list by defendant USD 501 Topeka (ICMSUSER) (Entered: 03/04/1994)

March 3, 1994

March 3, 1994

394

WITNESS & EXHIBIT LIST submitted by plaintiffs (CAM) (Entered: 03/04/1994)

March 3, 1994

March 3, 1994

395

AMENDED WITNESS & EXHIBIT LIST submitted by plaintiffs (CAM) (Entered: 03/17/1994)

March 16, 1994

March 16, 1994

396

SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM in support by plaintiffs re: [389-1] motion to compel defts to respond to pltfs' 6th set of interrogatories w/brief in support referred to Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman [389-1] (CAM) (Entered: 03/24/1994)

March 23, 1994

March 23, 1994

397

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: by Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman granting & overruling in part pltfs' motion to compel discovery & for costs [367-1] & overruling in its entirety pltfs' notice of motion to compel defts to respond to pltfs' 6th set of interrogatories 389-1] 4 pages (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 03/31/1994)

March 30, 1994

March 30, 1994

398

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: by Magistrate Judge Ronald Newman granting pltfs' motion for reconsideration of court's order entered 4/30/94 related to pltfs' motions to compel discovery [367-1] & [389-1] 2 pages (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 04/01/1994)

April 1, 1994

April 1, 1994

399

NOTICE by USD 501 Topeka of taking deposition duces tecum of Dr. Leonard B. Stevens on 4/8/94 (CAM) (Entered: 04/04/1994)

April 1, 1994

April 1, 1994

400

SUPPLEMENTAL WITNESS LIST submitted by plaintiffs (CAM) (Entered: 04/07/1994)

April 6, 1994

April 6, 1994

401

CERTIFICATE of service by defendant USD 501 Topeka of: answers to plaintiff-intervenors' interrogatory no. 23 and 24; answers to plaintiff- intervenors' interrogatory no. 25 and 26 answered by Rome Mitchell; and answers to plaintiff-intervenors' interrogatory no. 25 and 26 answered by Scott McCully. (DO) (Entered: 04/11/1994)

April 8, 1994

April 8, 1994

402

PRE-TRIAL BRIEF submitted by plaintiffs (CAM) (Entered: 04/13/1994)

April 13, 1994

April 13, 1994

403

TRIAL BRIEF submitted by defendant USD 501 Topeka (CAM) (Entered: 04/14/1994)

April 13, 1994

April 13, 1994

404

RETURN OF SERVICE by defendant of subpoena - Served Curtis Hartenberger 4/18/94 (CAM) (Entered: 04/19/1994)

April 18, 1994

April 18, 1994

405

MINUTE SHEET of trial to Court at Topeka, KS, RDR: (Bertelli, CSR) Trial began 4/18/94 & reconvened 4/19/94, 4/20/94 & 4/21/94. Counsel to report back to court within 2 weeks (CAM) Modified on 10/05/1998 (Entered: 04/22/1994)

April 21, 1994

April 21, 1994

406

TRANSCRIPT of testimony held 4/20/94 before Hon. RDR; I volume (Bertelli, CSR) (CAM) (Entered: 06/15/1994)

June 14, 1994

June 14, 1994

407

MINUTE SHEET: Topeka, KS, 7/5/94, RDR: Telephone conference (CAM) (Entered: 07/05/1994)

July 5, 1994

July 5, 1994

408

EXHIBIT list by plaintiffs (CAM) (Entered: 07/14/1994)

July 12, 1994

July 12, 1994

409

MINUTE SHEET of court trial @ Topeka, KS: Horenkamp, CSR - U/A Court to issue order (CAM) (Entered: 07/15/1994)

July 13, 1994

July 13, 1994

410

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers: Re the motion for attorney fees and costs [357-1] (See order for details) (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 07/15/1994)

July 14, 1994

July 14, 1994

411

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers. Desegregation plan submitted by deft in response to mandate of 10CCA addresses nature & scope of constitutional violation in equitable manner. Deft's plan is therefore approved with modifications suggested in opinion. Deft to submit formal order directing remedial action for court's signature within 10 days. 26 pages terminating case (cc: all counsel) (ADMIN) (Entered: 03/16/1999)

July 25, 1994

July 25, 1994

412

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers. Court approves Remedy Plan dated 6/16/94. For details, see order (cc: all counsel) (LAK) (Entered: 08/08/1994)

Aug. 8, 1994

Aug. 8, 1994

413

MOTION w/memorandum in support by plaintiffs for reconsideration of order entered 8/8/94; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (LAK) (Entered: 08/17/1994)

Aug. 17, 1994

Aug. 17, 1994

414

RESPONSE by defendants to pltfs' motion for reconsideration of order entered 8/8/94; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [413-1] (MB) (Entered: 08/22/1994)

Aug. 19, 1994

Aug. 19, 1994

415

SUPPLEMENT MOTION by plaintiffs re: [357-1] motion for attorney fees and costs referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [357-1] (CAM) (Entered: 09/23/1994)

Sept. 23, 1994

Sept. 23, 1994

416

MOTION by defendant USD 501 Topeka to extend time to respond to pltfs' supplemental motion for atty fees & costs; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (LAK) (Entered: 10/11/1994)

Oct. 7, 1994

Oct. 7, 1994

417

RESPONSE by defendant re: supplemental motion for atty's fees & costs [415-1] (CAM) (Entered: 10/17/1994)

Oct. 14, 1994

Oct. 14, 1994

418

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting motion to extend time until 10/14/94 to respond to pltfs' supplemental motion for atty fees & costs [416-1] (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 10/17/1994)

Oct. 17, 1994

Oct. 17, 1994

419

REPLY MEMORANDUM by plaintiffs in support of pltfs' supplemental motion for attys' fees & costs [415-1] (CAM) (Entered: 10/24/1994)

Oct. 24, 1994

Oct. 24, 1994

420

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting in part pltf's motion for reconsideration of order entered 8/8/94 [413-1]. (See order for details) 3 pages (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 10/26/1994)

Oct. 26, 1994

Oct. 26, 1994

421

NOTICE of svc by defendant of annual monitoring report (CAM) (Entered: 11/02/1994)

Nov. 1, 1994

Nov. 1, 1994

422

MOTION by plaintiffs to withdraw attorney Victor A. Bolden referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (CAM) Modified on 12/13/1994 (Entered: 11/14/1994)

Nov. 14, 1994

Nov. 14, 1994

423

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting motion to withdraw attorney Victor A. Bolden [422-1] attorney Victor A Bolden for Oliver Brown (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 12/19/1994)

Dec. 19, 1994

Dec. 19, 1994

424

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers: Pltfs' motion & supplemental motion for attorneys' fees & costs--granted, & deft shall pay pltfs' fees & costs based on following calculations (see order for details) 17 pages (cc: all counsel) (CAM) (Entered: 02/22/1995)

Feb. 21, 1995

Feb. 21, 1995

425

NOTICE by defendant of attendance boundary change & modification to M-to-M transfer policy re: [412-1] order [412-1] (CAM) (Entered: 06/06/1995)

June 5, 1995

June 5, 1995

426

SATISFACTION by intervenor-plaintiffs of order regarding attorneys' fees and expenses dated 2/21/95 (Doc. 424) (MB) (Entered: 08/15/1995)

Aug. 14, 1995

Aug. 14, 1995

427

SATISFACTION of order regarding attys' fees & expenses by intervenor-plaintiff re: Order filed 2/21/95 [424-1] (CAM) (Entered: 09/15/1995)

Sept. 14, 1995

Sept. 14, 1995

428

CERTIFICATE of svc on 11/1/95 by defendant of Annual Monitoring Report of deft (CAM) (Entered: 11/02/1995)

Nov. 1, 1995

Nov. 1, 1995

429

APPLICATION by deft USD 501 Topeka for order for expansion of school placement of elementary school ESL program; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (MS) (Entered: 06/04/1996)

June 3, 1996

June 3, 1996

430

NOTICE of modification to enhanced M to M transfer policy and to ESL staff training requirements by defendant USD 501 Topeka (MS) (Entered: 06/04/1996)

June 3, 1996

June 3, 1996

431

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting motion by deft USD 501 Topeka for order for expansion of school placement of elementary school ESL program; [429-1] (cc: all counsel) (MS) (Entered: 06/13/1996)

June 13, 1996

June 13, 1996

432

NOTICE of svc of Annual Monitoring Report by defendants with attached Annual Monitoring Report of deft Unified School District No. 501, Shawnee County, KS (MS) (Entered: 11/04/1996)

Nov. 1, 1996

Nov. 1, 1996

433

NOTICE of change of address by American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004-2400 (MB) (Entered: 06/23/1997)

June 23, 1997

June 23, 1997

RECEIVED ORIGINAL APPEAL RECORD exhibits (maps) from CCA 10th circuit [314-1] (ICMSUSER) Modified on 08/11/1997 (Entered: 08/11/1997)

Aug. 8, 1997

Aug. 8, 1997

434

NOTICE of svc of Annual Monitoring Report with attached Annual Monitoring Report pursuant to Court's Order filed 8/8/94 - by defendant USD 501 Topeka (MS) Modified on 11/03/1998 (Entered: 11/05/1997)

Nov. 3, 1997

Nov. 3, 1997

435

NOTICE OF SERVICE of Annual Monitoring Report by defendants filed pursuant to the court's order of 8/8/94 (with attached Annual Monitoring Report) (MS) (Entered: 11/03/1998)

Nov. 2, 1998

Nov. 2, 1998

436

NOTICE (ERRATA) by defendant re: the Annual Monitoring Report (Doc. 435) (MS) (Entered: 12/03/1998)

Dec. 1, 1998

Dec. 1, 1998

437

NOTICE OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GIFTED PROGRAM CHANGE by defendant (MS) (Entered: 04/15/1999)

April 14, 1999

April 14, 1999

438

MOTION for unitary status by defendant USD 501 Topeka; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (MS) (Entered: 04/19/1999)

April 16, 1999

April 16, 1999

439

MEMORANDUM BRIEF by defendant USD 501 Topeka in support of motion for unitary status by defendant USD 501 Topeka; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers [438-1] (MS) (Entered: 04/19/1999)

April 16, 1999

April 16, 1999

440

MOTION to extend time to 5/28/99 to file their response to deft's motion for unitary status by plaintiffs; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (MS) (Entered: 04/27/1999)

April 26, 1999

April 26, 1999

441

ORDER ENTERED: by Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers granting motion to extend time to 5/28/99 to file their response to deft's motion for unitary status by plaintiffs [440-1] (cc: all counsel) (MS) (Entered: 04/27/1999)

April 27, 1999

April 27, 1999

442

MOTION to extend time to 6/28/99 to file their response to the deft's motion for unitary status by plaintiffs; referred to Senior Judge Richard D. Rogers (MS) (Entered: 05/25/1999)

May 25, 1999

May 25, 1999

Case Details

State / Territory: Kansas

Case Type(s):

School Desegregation

Special Collection(s):

Court-ordered receiverships

Featured Historical Cases

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Filing Date: Feb. 28, 1951

Closing Date: July 27, 1999

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiff Description:

Current and future African-American students in Topeka public schools.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Board of Education of Topeka (Topeka), City

Kansas, State

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Facility Type(s):

Government-run

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Content of Injunction:

Receivership

Order Duration: 1955 - 1999

General/Misc.:

Racial segregation

Discrimination Area:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination Basis:

Race discrimination

Affected Race(s):

Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. board of education case brief.

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Brown v. Board at Fifty: “With an Even Hand” Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

With an Even Hand: Brown v. Board at Fifty

Three lawyers confer at the Supreme Court, 1953. Gelatin silver print. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (98)

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and its legal offspring, the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, developed a systematic attack against the doctrine of “separate but equal.” The campaign started at the graduate and professional educational levels. The attack culminated in five separate cases gathered together under the name of one of them— Oliver Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.

Kenneth B. Clark's “Doll Test” Notebook

During the 1940s, psychologists Kenneth Bancroft Clark and his wife, Mamie Phipps Clark designed a test to study the psychological effects of segregation on black children. In 1950 Kenneth Clark wrote a paper for the White House Mid-Century Conference on Children and Youth summarizing this research and related work that attracted the attention of Robert Carter of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Carter believed that Clark's findings could be effectively used in court to show that segregation damaged the personality development of black children. On Carter's recommendation, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund engaged Clark to provide expert social science testimony in the Briggs , Davis , and Delaware cases. Clark also co-authored a summation of the social science testimony delivered during the trials that was endorsed by thirty-five leading social scientists. The Supreme Court specifically cited Clark's 1950 paper in the Brown decision.

brown v board of education summary oyez

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Notebook recording data concerning the “Doll Test,” 1940–1941. Kenneth B. Clark Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (61)

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Dr. Kenneth Clark Conducting the “Doll Test”

In the “doll test,” psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark used four plastic, diaper-clad dolls, identical except for color. They showed the dolls to black children between the ages of three and seven and asked them questions to determine racial perception and preference. Almost all of the children readily identified the race of the dolls. However, when asked which they preferred, the majority selected the white doll and attributed positive characteristics to it. The Clarks also gave the children outline drawings of a boy and girl and asked them to color the figures the same color as themselves. Many of the children with dark complexions colored the figures with a white or yellow crayon. The Clarks concluded that “prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” caused black children to develop a sense of inferiority and self-hatred. This photograph was taken by Gordon Parks for a 1947 issue of Ebony magazine.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Gordon Parks, photographer. Dr. Kenneth Clark conducting the “Doll Test” with a young male child , 1947. Gelatin silver print. Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (62)

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Reading Lesson in Washington, D.C.

As the nation's capital became more and more populated by blacks in the first half of the twentieth century, the schools in District of Columbia became more segregated. During World War II, there was no new construction of schools and the few that existed were extremely overcrowded. After the war, new construction started but did not meet the needs of the District's populace. Many black students were attending schools in shifts while many of the white schools sat nearly empty. This condition eventually led to the Bolling v. Sharpe case, one of the five included in the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Marjory Collins. Reading lesson in African American elementary school in Washington, D.C. , 1942. Gelatin silver print. FSA-OWI Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (57C)

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Kenneth B. Clark's “Doll Test” Data Sheet

The Clarks used printed data sheets to record the children's responses during the “doll test,” as well as general observations. This data sheet lists the nine questions that were routinely asked. The letters “B” and “W” denote “black” and “white.” The abbreviations “LB” and “DB” denote “light brown” and “dark brown” complexions. The data reveals that Mark A., a black boy age four with a dark brown complexion, prefers the white doll and selects the white doll as the one that looks like him.

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online.

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Sample Doll Test data sheet, n.d. Kenneth B. Clark Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (64)

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Briggs v . Elliott (South Carolina)

In 1949, the state NAACP in South Carolina sought twenty local residents in Clarendon County to sign a petition for equal education. The petition turned into a lawsuit and first name on the list was Harry Briggs. In preparation for the Briggs case, attorney Robert Carter returned to Columbia University to confer with Psychologist Otto Klineberg, who was known for his research on black students' IQ scores. He sought Klineberg's advice on the use of social science testimony in the pending trial to show the psychological damage segregation caused in black children. Klineberg recommended Kenneth Clark. Clark became the Legal Defense Fund's principal expert witness. He also agreed to assist the Legal Defense Fund 's lawyers in the preparation of briefs and recruit other prominent social scientists to testify. This document records the depositions of two expert witnesses who participated in Briggs v . Elliott : David Krech, a social psychology professor at the University of California; and Helen Trager, a lecturer at Vassar College.

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Testimony of Expert Witnesses at Trial of Clarendon County School Case Direct Examination by Robert L. Carter , May 29, 1951. Transcript. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (57)

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Bolling v. Sharpe, (Washington D.C.)

Spottswood Thomas Bolling v. C. Melvin Sharpe, was one of the five school desegregation cases that comprised Brown . Because the District of Columbia was not a state but federal territory, the Fourteenth Amendment arguments used in the other cases did not apply. Therefore, the lawyers argued for “Due Process Clause” of the Fifth Amendment, which guaranteed equal protection of the law. The Consolidated Parents Group initiated a boycott of the black High School in Washington. D.C., which was overcrowded and dilapidated. In 1948, Charles H. Houston was hired to represent them in a law suit to make black schools more equal to white schools when Houston's health began to fail. He recommended James Nabrit as his replacement. Nabrit was joined by fellow attorney, George E. C. Hayes in presenting arguments for the District of Columbia case.

brown v board of education summary oyez

U. S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1954 Term. Supreme Court Records and Briefs, Law Library , Library of Congress (57B)

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Brief of the Attorneys for the Plaintiffs in Brown

In June 1950, shortly after the Sweatt , McLaurin , and Henderson victories, Thurgood Marshall convened a conference of the NAACP's board of directors and affiliated attorneys to determine the next step in the legal campaign. After several days of debate, Marshall decided to shift the focus from the inequality of separate black schools to a full assault on segregation. The NAACP immediately instituted lawsuits concerning segregated public schools in Southern and border states. Brown v. Board of Education was filed in the U.S. District Court in Topeka, Kansas, in February 1951 and litigated concurrently with Briggs v. Elliot in South Carolina. Oliver Brown, one of thirteen plaintiffs, had agreed to participate on behalf of his seven-year-old daughter Linda, who had to walk six blocks to board a school bus that drove her to the all-black Monroe School a mile away.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Brief of the Attorneys for the Plaintiffs (Charles E. Bledsoe, Charles Scott, Robert L. Carter, Jack Greenberg, and Thurgood Marshall) in the case of Oliver Brown, . . .delivered in the United States Court for the District of Kansas , June 1951. Brief of the Attorneys for the Plaintiffs (Charles E. Bledsoe, Charles Scott, Robert L. Carter, Jack Greenberg, and Thurgood Marshall) in the case of Oliver Brown, . . .delivered in the United States Court for the District of Kansas, June 1951. Page 2. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (54) Courtesy of the NAACP //www.loc.gov/exhibits/brown/images/br0054p2s.jpg

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Finding of Fact for the Case of Oliver Brown

On June 25, 1951, Robert Carter and Jack Greenberg argued the Brown case before a three judge panel in district court in Kansas. They were assisted by local NAACP attorneys Charles Bledsoe and brothers John and Charles Scott. As in Briggs , the testimony of social scientists was central to the case. The Court found “no willful, intentional or substantial discrimination” in Topeka's schools. However, presiding Judge Walter A. Huxman appended nine “Findings of Fact” to the opinion. Fact VIII endorsed the psychological premise that segregation had a detrimental effect on black children. This was the windfall the NAACP needed to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. Briggs and Brown were the first cases to reach the Court; three others followed. The Court decided to bundle all five cases and scheduled a hearing for December 9, 1952.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Opinion and Finding of Fact for the case of Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, et al. Delivered in the United States Court for the District of Kansas , 1951. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (55) Courtesy of the NAACP

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Gebhart v. Belton; Gebhart v. Bulah (Delaware)

In 1950 Louis Redding filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sarah Bulah to admit her daughter Shirley to a nearby white elementary school, after the Delaware Board of Education refused to allow her to board an all-white school bus that drove pass their home. In 1951, Redding filed a second suit on behalf of Ethel Belton and nine other plaintiffs, whose children were barred from attending the all-white high school in their community. That fall, Thurgood Marshall sent Jack Greenberg to Wilmington to work with Redding on the litigation. Greenberg drafted this meticulous trial memorandum the week before the hearing. In it he provides a schedule of witnesses, instructions on deposing the witnesses, and the questions to be posed. Among the witnesses listed are psychologists Kenneth Clark and Otto Klineberg.

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Trial Memorandum from Jack Greenberg concerning the Wilmington school case, October 11, 1951. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (58)

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A Court Rules: Equalization, Not Integration

Spurred by a student strike, blacks in Prince Edward County, Virginia, called a lower federal court's attention to the demonstrably unequal facilities in the county's segregated high schools. As this “Final Decree” in Davis v. County School Board shows, they convinced the U.S. District Court that facilities for blacks were “not substantially equal” to those for whites. The Court ordered the two systems to be made equal. However, it did not abolish segregation. Therefore, the plaintiffs appealed, and the Supreme Court heard their case along with Brown v. Board .

brown v board of education summary oyez

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Final Decree, [1952]. Typed memorandum. Kenneth Clark Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (59)

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Brief for Appellants, Brown v. Board , 1953

The Supreme Court did not render a judgement after the initial oral arguments in Brown v. Board . Instead, the Court submitted a list of five questions for counsel to discuss at a rehearing that convened on December 7, 1953. The questions pertained to the history of the Fourteenth Amendment and the relation between the views of the Amendment framers' intent to “abolish segregation in public schools.” The questions also addressed what remedies to be used in the event the Court ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional. After assessing the questions, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund assembled a team of experts, including John A. Davis, a professor of political science at Lincoln University, Mabel Smythe, an economist, and psychologist Kenneth Clark, and scholars John Hope Franklin, C. Vann Woodward, and Horace Mann Bond, to conduct research during the summer.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Brief for Appellants in the cases of Brown v. Board of Education: Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education, Kansas et al.; . . . in the United States Supreme Court-October Term, 1953 . Washington: GPO, 1953. Pamphlet. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (73) Courtesy of the NAACP

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Eisenhower and Davis

As President (1953–1961), Dwight David Eisenhower took decisive action to enforce court rulings eliminating racial segregation. He would not, however, endorse the Brown decision or condemn segregation as morally wrong. John W. Davis, who had been the Democratic Party's unsuccessful candidate for president in 1924, was the lead counsel in the South's effort to uphold the Plessy v. Ferguson doctrine of “separate but equal” in arguments before the Supreme Court in 1953. The two men are shown meeting in New York in October 1952, shortly before Davis would endorse Eisenhower for president. Thurgood Marshall in later years would say of Davis, “He was a good man . . . who believed segregation was a good thing.”

brown v board of education summary oyez

Ike with John W. Davis at the Herald Trib Forum 10/21 , 1952. Photograph. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (73A)

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Waiting for Courtroom Seats

This photograph shows interested members of the public waiting in line outside the Supreme Court for a chance to obtain one of the 50 seats allotted to hear the second round of arguments in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. The case involved four states (Kansas, Virginia, Delaware and South Carolina) and the District of Columbia. Among an impressive array of legal representation for the plaintiffs was Thurgood Marshall serving as chief council for the NAACP. The opposing side was led by John W. Davis, one time Democratic presidential candidate and expert on constitutional law.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Waiting for courtroom seats , 1953. Gelatin silver print. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (74) Digital ID# cph 3c13498

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Three Lawyers Confer at the Supreme Court

In preparation for the Brown court case the three lead lawyers gathered to discuss their final strategy. Pictured ( left to right )are Harold P. Boulware, ( Briggs case), Thurgood Marshall, ( Briggs case), and Spottswood W. Robinson III ( Davis case). The lawyers said that the Brown case hoped to end the “separate but equal” doctrine of the earlier Plessy decision and make it illegal to continue segregation in public schools.

brown v board of education summary oyez

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The Warren Court

Pictured in this photograph are nine members of the Supreme Court that decided Brown v. Board of Education . Seated in the front row ( from left ) Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Earl Warren, Stanley Reed, and William O. Douglas. In the back row are Tom Clark, Robert H. Jackson, Harold Burton, Sherman Minton. The photograph was taken late in 1953, after President Dwight D. Eisenhower had nominated Warren to the Court, but before the U.S. Senate had confirmed him as Chief Justice.

brown v board of education summary oyez

U. S. Supreme Court Justices , 1953. Photograph. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (102)

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Brown Attorneys After the Decision

Three lawyers, Thurgood Marshall ( center ), chief counsel for the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund and lead attorney on the Briggs case, with George E. C. Hayes ( left ) and James M. Nabrit ( right ), attorneys for Bolling case, standing on the steps of the Supreme Court congratulating each other after the court ruling that segregation was unconstitutional.

brown v board of education summary oyez

George E. C. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall, and James M. Nabrit congratulating each other , 1954. Gelatin silver print. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (99) [Dig ID # cph 3c11236]

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“Segregation in Schools is Outlawed”

The case that gave the Brown v. Board of Education decision its name originated in a Federal District Court in Topeka, Kansas. The Russell Daily News , serving the city and county of Russell, Kansas, announced the decision with a banner headline and two front page stories. On the day of the decision, this evening newspaper carried United Press reports from Washington, D.C., and from Topeka, along with the ruling and the Kansas Attorney General's statement of intention to comply.

brown v board of education summary oyez

The Russell Daily News (Russell, Kansas), Monday, May 17, 1954. Historic Events Newspaper Collection, Serial and Government Publications Division , Library of Congress (84)

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Humiliation and Inferiority

William T. Coleman assisted Thurgood Marshall with the planning and execution of the Brown litigation. Member of the NAACP Legal Committee, Coleman's stellar academic record at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School paved his way to the Supreme Court, where he became the first African American clerk in 1948. Coleman wrote this memorandum for Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter in 1949. Agreeing with Coleman's contention that segregation was unconstitutional because it was an humiliating sign of inferiority, Frankfurter commented: “That it is such has been candidly acknowledged by numerous accounts & adjudications in those States where segregation is enforced. Only self conscious superiority or inability to slip into the other fellow's skin can fail to appreciate that.”

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Warren Works For Unanimity

Realizing that overturning school segregation in the South might entail a degree of social upheaval, Chief Justice Warren carefully engineered a unanimous vote, one without dissents or separate concurring opinions. Assigning the two opinions—one for state schools, one for federal—to himself, he circulated two draft memoranda with opinions to his colleagues. He proposed to put off the tricky question of implementation until later. He also set forth his idea that “opinions should be short, readable by the lay public, non-rhetorical, unemotional and, above all, non-accusatory.”

brown v board of education summary oyez

Earl Warren to members of the Court, May 7, 1954. Typed memorandum. Earl Warren Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (80)

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“A Beautiful Job”

Early in May 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren circulated draft opinions for the school desegregation cases to his colleagues on the Court. Associate Justice William O. Douglas responded enthusiastically in this handwritten note: “I do not think I would change a single word in the memoranda you gave me this morning. The two draft opinions meet my idea exactly. You have done a beautiful job.”

brown v board of education summary oyez

William Douglas to Earl Warren, May 11, 1954. Holograph letter. Earl Warren Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (81A)

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“A Great Day for America”

Associate Justice Harold H. Burton sent this note to Chief Justice Earl Warren on the day that the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board was announced. He said, “Today I believe has been a great day for America and the Court. . . . I cherish the privilege of sharing in this.” In a tribute to Warren's judicial statesmanship, Burton added, “To you goes the credit for the character of the opinions which produced the all important unanimity. Congratulations.”

brown v board of education summary oyez

Harold H. Burton to Earl Warren, May 17, 1954. Holograph letter. Earl Warren Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (82)

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Frankfurter's Congratulations to Warren

Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter, who had worked to achieve a definitive repudiation of segregation by the Supreme Court, sent this note to Chief Justice Warren on the day that the decision in Brown v. Board was publicly announced—a day that Frankfurter said would “live in glory.” Frankfurter added that the Court's role was also distinguished by “the course of deliberation which brought about the result.”

brown v board of education summary oyez

Felix Frankfurter to Earl Warren, May 17, 1954. Holograph letter. Earl Warren Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (82B)

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Warren's Reading Copy of the Brown Opinion, 1954

Chief Justice Earl Warren's reading copy of Brown is annotated in his hand. Warren announced the opinion in the names of each justice, an unprecedented occurrence. The drama was heightened by the widespread prediction that the Court would be divided on the issue. Warren reminded himself to emphasize the decision's unanimity with a marginal notation, “unanimously,” which departed from the printed reading copy to declare, “Therefore, we unanimously hold. . . .” In his memoirs, Warren recalled the moment with genuine warmth. “When the word 'unanimously' was spoken, a wave of emotion swept the room; no words or intentional movement, yet a distinct emotional manifestation that defies description.” “Unanimously” was not incorporated into the published version of the opinion, and thus exists only in this manuscript.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Earl Warren's reading copy of Brown opinion, May 17, 1954. Earl Warren Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (83)

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Celebration of the Supreme Court's Decision

The Supreme Court's decision on the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954 marked a culmination in a plan the NAACP had put into action more than forty years earlier—the end to racial inequality. African American parents throughout the country like Mrs. Hunt, shown here, explained to their children why this was an important moment in history.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Mrs. Nettie Hunt and daughter Nikie on the steps of the Supreme Court, 1954 . Gelatin silver print. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (97) Digital ID # cph 3c27042

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Segregation Ruling Explained to the Press

Chief counsel for the NAACP Thurgood Marshall spoke to the press in New York City on May 31 after the Supreme Court decreed an end to public school segregation as soon as feasible. At the news conference in New York City, Marshall told reporters “. . .the law had been made crystal clear” and added, “Southerners are just as law abiding as anyone else, once the law is made clear.” He was speaking after Brown II , the court's second opinion in the Brown case, which ordered the implementation of the original ruling in a “prompt and reasonable” start towards desegregation.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Thurgood Marshall explains segregation ruling to the press , 1955. Gelatin silver print. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (104)

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Congratulatory Telegram on Brown Decision

The NAACP's affiliation with the philanthropic Stokes family began with J. G. Phelps Stokes, one of the organization's founders. At the time of the Brown decision, Anson Phelps Stokes was president of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, a charitable trust that sponsored black schools and educational projects. Stokes became familiar with the racial politics of the South through his work with the Tuskegee Institute. This telegram celebrates the consensus of the Southern justices and urges the NAACP to “heartily support the court decision postponing implementing orders so that these wonderful new[s] gains may be safe guarded with minimum disturbances in a difficult situation. . . .”

brown v board of education summary oyez

Anson Phelps Stokes to Channing Tobias, Chairman of the NAACP, offering congratulations on the NAACP's victory in Brown v. Board of Education . Telegram. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (96) Courtesy of the NAACP

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Congratulatory Letter on the Brown Decision

William Patterson was an attorney and former Executive Secretary of the International Labor Defense (ILD), an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of racial minorities, political radicals, and the working class. In 1931, the ILD competed with the NAACP for the right to represent the “Scottsboro Boys,” nine black men convicted of raping two white women. The NAACP lost the bid because it lacked a full-time legal staff spurring Walter White, then head of the NAACP, to hire Charles H. Houston and set up a legal department. In this letter Patterson, head of the Civil Rights Congress, a leftist organization, attributes opposition to the Brown decision to “the demoralizing effect of segregated schools on white youth. It has made bigots out of millions who have not learned in their separate schools that there are no superior people.”

brown v board of education summary oyez

William L. Patterson, Executive Secretary of the Civil Rights Congress, to Walter White congratulating White on the NAACP's victory in Brown v. Board of Education , May 17, 1954. Typed letter. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (95) Courtesy of the NAACP

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An African American Response

The multi-faceted African American response to the decision was articulated throughout the black press and in editorials published in official publications of national black organizations. Founded in 1910, The Crisis magazine, shown here, is the official organ of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In response to the decision, a special issue of The Crisis was printed to include the complete text of the Supreme Court decision, a history of the five school cases, excerpts from the nation's press on segregation ruling, and the text of the “Atlanta Declaration,” the official NAACP response and program of action for implementing the decision.

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. The Crisis magazine: A Record of the Darker Races. Volume 61, no. 6 (June–July, 1954). General Collections , Library of Congress (92)

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Conferring at the Supreme Court

In 1929 Louis L. Redding, a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, became the first African American attorney in Delaware—the only one for more than twenty years. He devoted his practice to civil rights law and served as the counsel for the NAACP Delaware branch. In 1949 Redding won the landmark Parker case, which resulted in the desegregation of the University of Delaware. In1951, Redding and Greenberg tried two cases in Delaware's Chancery Court: Bulah v. Gebhart and Belton v. Gebhart, which respectively concerned elementary school and high school. On April 1, 1952, Judge Collins Seitz ordered the immediate admission of black students to Delaware's white public schools, but the local state-run-school board appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

brown v board of education summary oyez

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Frankfurter's Draft Decree in Brown II , 1955

After the Brown opinion was announced, the Court heard additional arguments during the following term on the decree for implementing the ruling. In a draft, prepared by Felix Frankfurter, which Warren subsequently adopted, Frankfurter inserted “with all deliberate speed” in place of “forthwith,” which Thurgood Marshall had suggested to achieve an accelerated desegregation timetable. Frankfurter wanted to anchor the decree in an established doctrine, and his endorsement of it sought to advance a consensus held by the entire court. The justices thought that the decree should provide for flexible enforcement, appeal to established principles, and suggest some basic ground rules for judges of the lower courts. When it became clear that opponents of desegregation were using the doctrine to delay and avoid compliance with Brown , the Court began to express reservations about the phrase.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Felix Frankfurter's draft decree in Brown II, April 8, 1955. //www.loc.gov/exhibits/brown/images/br0107p2s.jpg

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Topeka School Map

In response to requests from two Justices during the oral arguments of the implementation phase of Brown v. Board , Kansas Attorney General Harold Fatzer provided the Court with this map of the Topeka public school districts along with 1956 enrollment estimates by race. Although almost all of the schools shown were either overwhelmingly white or completely black, Fatzer argued that Topeka had not deliberately gerrymandered the districts so as to concentrate black pupils into a few districts. Also shown is a key to the map, representing the placement of students in the districts.

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Raymond F. Tilzey. The Elementary School District Boundaries for the City of Topeka 1955–1956 . Printed Map. Earl Warren Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (109)

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Southern White Liberal Reaction

Many white Southern liberals welcomed the moderate and incremental approach of the Brown implementation decree. Ralph McGill, the influential editor of the Atlanta Constitution , wrote in praise of the Court's decision to have local school boards, in conjunction with Southern court judges, formulate and execute desegregation orders. Certain that “the problem of desegregation had to be solved at the local level,” he told Chief Justice Warren that the Court's ruling was “one of the great statesman-like decisions of all time,” exceeding all previous decisions “in wisdom and clarity.”

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Ralph McGill to Earl Warren, June 1, 1955. Typed letter. Earl Warren Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (113A)

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Adverse Reactions to Brown

Challenges to legal and social institutions implicit in the Brown decision led to adverse reactions in both Northern and Southern states. U.S. Solicitor General Simon Sobeloff forwarded to Chief Justice Warren this letter from an official of the New York chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. The official attributed the impetus behind the Court's action to “the worldwide Communist conspiracy” and claimed that the NAACP had been financed by “a Communist front.”

The Library of Congress does not have permission to show this image online. Lee Hagood to Simon Sobeloff, September 29, 1955. Typed letter. Earl Warren Papers, Manuscript Division , Library of Congress (116A)

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Thurgood Marshall

After the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on May 17, 1954, and May 31, 1955, desegregating schools, Thurgood Marshall (1908–1994), was featured on the cover of Time magazine, on September 19, 1955. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Marshall graduated with honors from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. His exclusion from the University of Maryland's Law School due to racial discrimination, marked a turning point in his life. As a result, he attended the Howard University Law School, and graduated first in his class in 1933. Early in his career he traveled throughout the South and argued thirty-two cases before the Supreme Court, winning twenty-nine. Charles H. Houston persuaded him to leave private law practice and join the NAACP legal staff in New York, where he remained from 1936 until 1961. In 1939, Marshall became the first director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Marshall as Solicitor General in 1965 and nominated him to a seat on the United States Supreme Court in 1967 from which he retired in 1991.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Time magazine, September 19, 1955. Cover. General Collections , Library of Congress (115) Courtesy of Time-Life Pictures, Getty Images

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Barnard Elementary, Washington, D. C.

This image of an integrated classroom in the previously all white Barnard Elementary School in Washington, D.C., shows how the District's Board of Education attempted to act quickly to carry out the Supreme Court decision to integrate schools in the area. However, it did take longer for the junior and senior high schools to integrate.

brown v board of education summary oyez

Thomas J. O'Halloran. School integration, Barnard School, Washington, D.C. , 1955. Gelatin silver print. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection, Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress (202)

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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 349 U.S. 294 (1955)

The task of implementing programs to achieve desegregation in public schools belongs to the schools themselves.

After the Brown I decision, which ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, the Supreme Court sought an additional set of arguments on what remedies would be appropriate. This presented a notable challenge because the cases stemmed from many different regions of the U.S. with distinctive conditions and problems. The Court acknowledged that all of the federal, state, and local laws that condoned segregation must be altered.

  • Earl Warren (Author)
  • Hugo Lafayette Black
  • Stanley Forman Reed
  • Felix Frankfurter
  • William Orville Douglas
  • Tom C. Clark
  • Sherman Minton
  • Harold Hitz Burton
  • John Marshall Harlan II

The courts that are most closely situated to local conditions are best equipped to consider whether the schools are acting in good faith when they are applying the constitutional mandate. Any further hearings can most easily be conducted in those courts, which should consider the need to reconcile public and private interests as well as the importance of practical flexibility in determining what remedies may be appropriate. In all areas, however, the school systems must start pursuing full racial integration promptly. The amount of time needed to achieve the goals of Brown I is unclear, and the time period may need to be extended, but the schools will be responsible for proving to the courts that an extension is needed and is compliant in good faith with the Constitution. Some of the practical issues that courts may need to take into account include facilities, transportation systems, changes to school district and local laws, and any proposals made by the school districts. During the shift toward integration, the courts will retain authority over the project. The lower courts must enter order orders that are consistent with this opinion and that further the goal of providing children access to public schools on a race-neutral basis.

The Supreme Court used this decision to delegate the responsibilities of implementing Brown I. Several decades later, many observers would argue that these efforts either failed or produced only short-term results that were eroded. White flight and other phenomena have led to the re-segregation of public schools in many areas, often in situations where there may be no discriminatory intent.

U.S. Supreme Court

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Reargued on the question of relief April 11-14, 1955

Opinion and judgments announced May 31, 1955*

349 U.S. 294

1. Racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, 347 U. S. 347 U.S. 483, 347 U. S. 497 , and all provisions of federal, state or local law requiring or permitting such discrimination must yield to this principle. P. 349 U. S. 298 .

2. The judgments below (except that in the Delaware case) are reversed and the cases are remanded to the District Courts to take such proceedings and enter such orders and decrees consistent with this opinion as are necessary and proper to admit the parties to these cases to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed. P. 349 U. S. 301 .

(a) School authorities have the primary responsibility for elucidating, assessing and solving the varied local school problems which may require solution in fully implementing the governing constitutional principles. P. 349 U. S. 299 .

(b) Courts will have to consider whether the action of school authorities constitutes good faith implementation of the governing constitutional principles. P. 349 U. S. 299 .

(c) Because of their proximity to local conditions and the possible need for further hearings, the courts which originally heard these cases can best perform this judicial appraisal. P. 349 U. S. 299 .

(d) In fashioning and effectuating the decrees, the courts will be guided by equitable principles -- characterized by a practical flexibility in shaping remedies and a facility for adjusting and reconciling public and private needs. P. 349 U. S. 300 .

Page 349 U. S. 295

(e) At stake is the personal interest of the plaintiffs in admission to public schools as soon as practicable on a nondiscriminatory basis. P. 349 U. S. 300 .

(f) Courts of equity may properly take into account the public interest in the elimination in a systematic and effective manner of a variety of obstacles in making the transition to school systems operated in accordance with the constitutional principles enunciated in 347 U. S. 347 U.S. 483, 347 U. S. 497 ; but the vitality of these constitutional principles cannot be allowed to yield simply because of disagreement with them. P. 349 U. S. 300 .

(g) While giving weight to these public and private considerations, the courts will require that the defendants make a prompt and reasonable start toward full compliance with the ruling of this Court. P. 349 U. S. 300 .

(h) Once such a start has been made, the courts may find that additional time is necessary to carry out the ruling in an effective manner. P. 349 U. S. 300 .

(i) The burden rests on the defendants to establish that additional time is necessary in the public interest and is consistent with good faith compliance at the earliest practicable date. P. 349 U. S. 300 .

(j) The courts may consider problems related to administration, arising from the physical condition of the school plant, the school transportation system, personnel, revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis, and revision of local laws and regulations which may be necessary in solving the foregoing problems. Pp. 349 U. S. 300 -301.

(k) The courts will also consider the adequacy of any plans the defendants may propose to meet these problems and to effectuate a transition to a racially nondiscriminatory school system. P. 349 U. S. 301 .

(l) During the period of transition, the courts will retain jurisdiction of these cases. P. 349 U. S. 301 .

3. The judgment in the Delaware case, ordering the immediate admission of the plaintiffs to schools previously attended only by white children, is affirmed on the basis of the principles stated by this Court in its opinion, 347 U. S. 347 U.S. 483, but the case is remanded to the Supreme Court of Delaware for such further proceedings as that Court may deem necessary in the light of this opinion. P. 349 U. S. 301 .

98 F. Supp. 797 , 103 F. Supp. 920 , 103 F. Supp. 337 and judgment in No. 4, reversed and remanded.

91 A.2d 137 , affirmed and remanded.

Page 349 U. S. 298

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COMMENTS

  1. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1)

    Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the opinion of the unanimous Court. The Supreme Court held that "separate but equal" facilities are inherently unequal and violate the protections of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court reasoned that the segregation of public education based on race instilled a sense of ...

  2. Introduction

    The opinion is known by the first case before the court: Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, or Brown v. Board. Warren spends a few minutes explaining the aftermath of a Supreme Court case from 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson. It established the doctrine of so-called "separate but equal" segregation.

  3. Brown v. Board of Education

    Learn about the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case that ruled racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Find out how the decision sparked the civil rights movement and influenced other cases of desegregation.

  4. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (2)

    Facts of the case. After its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ( Brown I ), which declared racial discrimination in public education unconstitutional, the Court convened to issue the directives which would help to implement its newly announced constitutional principle. The cases stemmed from many different regions of the United ...

  5. The Cases

    The landmark 1954 Brown v. Board case was actually made up of five separate lawsuits. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund—the civil rights group behind the suits—carefully chose them to represent a variety of circumstances and locations where public schools were segregated by race.

  6. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

    The Oyez Project A complete audio archive for the Supreme Court of the United States; Brown v. Board of Education (1954) ...

  7. Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that U.S. state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality. The decision partially overruled the Court's 1896 decision Plessy v.Ferguson, which had held that racial segregation laws ...

  8. Brown v. Board of Education

    The 1954 decision found that the historical evidence bearing on the issue was inconclusive. Brown v. Board of Education, case in which, on May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously (9-0) that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. It was one of the most important cases in the Court's history, and it helped ...

  9. PDF Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

    The above summary is taken from Oyez.org. All content there and on other sites and projects maintained by Oyez is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You can listen to oral arguments and read the final decision on their website: "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1)." Oyez.

  10. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)

    U.S. Supreme Court. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Argued December 9, 1952 Reargued December 8, 1953 Decided May 17, 1954* APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.

  11. Brown v. Board of Education

    The Supreme Court's opinion in the Brown v. Board of Education case of 1954 legally ended decades of racial segregation in America's public schools. Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the unanimous ruling in the landmark civil rights case. State-sanctioned segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. This historic decision marked the ...

  12. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

    The Supreme Court ruled that segregated public schools were unconstitutional and violated the 14th amendment. Read the full opinion, historical background, and teaching activities on this milestone document from the National Archives.

  13. Oyez

    347 US 483 (1954) Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (2) A case in which the Court found that local jurisdictions were responsible for the integration of public schools under Brown v. Board of Education (I), but it must be implemented "with all deliberate speed."

  14. Case: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

    Brown v. Board of Education, 399 U.S. 294 (1955). On remand in the Brown case, in Topeka, on August 2, 1955, the Kansas plaintiffs filed a motion in the district court for a hearing on the formulation of a decree. The hearing occurred on August 24, 1955, followed by issuance of a per curiam opinion by the three judge court on October 28, 1955.

  15. Brown v. Board of Education

    Case Summary of Brown v. Board of Education: Oliver Brown was denied admission into a white school. As a representative of a class action suit, Brown filed a claim alleging that laws permitting segregation in public schools were a violation of the 14 th Amendment equal protection clause. After the District Court upheld segregation using Plessy v.

  16. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

    The Supreme Court's decision on the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954 marked a culmination in a plan the NAACP had put into action more than forty years earlier—the end to racial inequality. African American parents throughout the country like Mrs. Hunt, shown here, explained to their children why this was an important moment in history.

  17. Transcripts

    The Arguments Against Segregation. The Arguments for Segregation. The 1952 Deliberations. Reargument: 1953. The Final Showdown: Marshall and Davis. The 1953 Deliberations. The Opinions: May 17, 1954. Transcripts The complete transcript of all cases. Overview The story behind the project.

  18. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 349 U.S. 294 (1955)

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Reargued on the question of relief April 11-14, 1955. Opinion and judgments announced May 31, 1955*. 349 U.S. 294. Syllabus. 1. Racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, 347 U. S. 347 U.S. 483, 347 U. S. 497, and all provisions of federal, state or local law requiring or permitting ...

  19. PDF U.S. Reports: Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)

    347 U. S. of the United States is again invited to participate. The Attorneys General of the states requiring or permitting segregation in public education will also be permitted to appear as amici curiae upon request to do so by Septem-ber 15, 1954, and submission of briefs by October 1, 1954."

  20. {{meta.fullTitle}}

    However, the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education overturned this, and the equal protection principle has since expanded to various areas of life. Any exceptions to equal protection must satisfy "strict scrutiny"; that is, the government must show that the racial classification serves a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to ...

  21. PDF Brown v. Board of Education

    Summary of case. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that state laws upholding racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional. In a unanimous decision on May 17, 1954, written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Court stated that "separate educational ...

  22. About the Project

    Inspired by advances in artificial intelligence systems, Professor Jerry Goldman set out to utilize modern voice-cloning and text-to-speech technology to re-create the monumental Supreme Court oral arguments leading to the Brown v.Board of Education decision on May 17, 1954. The initiative has been driven by the absence of any audio records from the 1952 and 1953 sessions (and again in 1955 ...

  23. 70 years since Brown v. Board of Education

    "70 years after Brown v. Board of Education and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to create a more equitable education system in Pennsylvania," said PHRC Director of Education and Outreach Desireé Chang, M.S. "Students living in lower income communities are deprived of the same resources provided to students in higher ...

  24. Home

    Board of Education (1954) Immerse yourself in our unique journey of historical reconstruction. Using the power of artificial intelligence and the art of acting, every word, every emotion, has been carefully recreated to offer an authentic and engaging experience. Discover how we transformed written words into lively dialogues, how the actors ...