Who Won in the Brown vs. Board of Education Case?

The landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in public schools, allowing black children to receive the same education as white children.

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The landmark 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education was one of the most important decisions rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 20th century. The Court’s ruling not only struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine that had justified racial segregation in public schools, it also helped pave the way for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

The case originated in Topeka, Kansas, where a black third-grader named Linda Brown had to walk past several white schools to get to her all-black elementary school. Her father, Oliver Brown, attempted to enroll her in one of the white schools but was denied admission because of Linda’s race. With the help of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Mr. Brown filed a lawsuit against the Board of Education of Topeka, charging that segregated public schools were unconstitutional and violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Brown v. Board of Education was actually a consolidation of five cases from different states that raised similar issues: Oliver Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka (Kansas); Darlene Boyles et al. v. Topeka Board of Education; Spottswood Thomas et al. v. Gaithersburg School Committee (Maryland); Shannon High School Pupils et al v Crenshaw County Board Of Education (Alabama); and Beloit School District No 1 et al v Jack Lyle et ux (Wisconsin). In each instance, black plaintiffs argued that “separate but equal” schools violated their children’s constitutional rights and put them at a disadvantage compared to white children.

On December 9, 1952, amidst much controversy, Chief Justice Fred Mathers Vinson heard oral arguments in Brown v§

The Case

In the case of Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of desegregation in public schools. This was a monumental decision because it overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine that had been established in the Plessy v. Ferguson case. The Brown decision changed the course of history and helped to create a more equal society.

The Parties

Oliver L. Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, et al., 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. The decision effectively overturned the policy of “separate but equal” public education that had been upheld by the Court in the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson.

The plaintiffs in the Brown case (Oliver L. Brown, Millie Russell, Kenneth Simmons, et al.) were thirteen Topeka parents whose children were denied admission to their neighborhood schools because they were black. The named plaintiff, Oliver L. Brown, was a parent, a minister, and an assistant pastor at his church; all of his children attended segregated schools.<2>

The consolidated cases were first argued on December 9, 1952 before United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter sitting with Associate Justices Harold Hitz Burton, Tom C. Clark, Stanley Forman Reed (who had taken no part in the decision two years earlier in Sweatt v. Painter), Robert Houghwout Jackson (who recused himself because he had previously ruled on cases involving some of the parties as United States Attorney General), Sherman Minton, and Earl Warren.<3> Chief Justice Frederick Moore Vinson did not hear the arguments as he was hospitalized due to a heart attack.<4> However, he read briefs and received regular updates on the case from his law clerks.<5> On May 17, 1954 Vinson delivered the court’s opinion: “We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprive those children of equal educational opportunities under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?”<6>

Writing for a unanimous court,[7] Vinson first noted that “segregation is a denial of equality” which therefore raised questions under both Due Process and Equal Protection.<8> He went on to hold that racial segregation in education violated a student’s right to Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.<9]

The Arguments

There were a number of arguments that were made in the Brown vs. Board of Education case. The plaintiffs argued that the state-sanctioned segregation of schools was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. They also argued that this segregation had a harmful effect on black students, depriving them of an equal educational opportunity.

The defendants argued that segregated schools were not inherently unequal and that the plaintiffs had not provided enough evidence to show that they were being harmed by the segregation. They also argued that the Supreme Court did not have the authority to rule on this issue, as it was a state matter.

In the end, the Supreme Court sided with the plaintiffs, ruling that segregated schools were indeed unconstitutional. This ruling paved the way for greater equality in education and helped to break down other forms of segregation in America.

The Decision

In the Brown vs. Board of Education case, the Supreme Court ruled that segregated public schools were unconstitutional. This ruling led to the desegregation of public schools across the United States.

The Majority Opinion

On May 17, 1954, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling ended legal segregation in public schools and changed America forever.

The Court’s decision was based on the fact that segregated schools were not equal to non-segregated schools and that segregated schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. The Court stated that “separate but equal” facilities were not really equal and could never be equal.

Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the opinion of the Court, which was joined by Justices Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, Robert H. Jackson, Harold H. Burton, Tom C. Clark, and Sherman Minton.

The Dissenting Opinion

In the words of Associate Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., theBrown v. Board of Educationof Topeka decision is “one of the most momentous pronouncements constitutional law in the history of our Nation.” The Court’s ruling began to dismantle the “separate but equal” doctrine announced in1896 inPlessy v. Ferguson,which had allowed state-sponsored segregation of races in public places.

That holding was expressly overturned inBrown, which declared that separation of white and black children in public schools was unconstitutional. The new rule was simple and long overdue: “separate but equal” facilities were not actually equal and could not be used to justify segregated education.

Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote a dissenting opinion in which he argued that the Court’s decision was an intrusion on states’ rights. He also contended that the decision would lead to undesirable racial mixing in schools. Four other justices joined Frankfurter’s dissent.

The Aftermath

It’s been over 60 years since the decision was made in the Brown vs. Board of Education case, and America is still struggling with issues of race. The case was supposed to desegregate schools, but many say that it actually made things worse. In this article, we’ll take a look at the aftermath of the Brown vs. Board of Education case and how it’s still affecting America today.

The Impact of the Decision

The Brown v. Board of Education decision had a huge impact on American society. It led to the eventual desegregation of all public schools in the United States. It also spurred the Civil Rights movement, which fought for equal rights for all Americans, regardless of race. The decision was a major victory for those who believed in equality and helped to move the country closer to its ideals of democracy and justice for all.

The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education

Nearly sixty years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, our nation’s schools are more segregated than they were then. In fact, recent trends show that schools are becoming increasingly segregated by race and ethnicity.

While it is true that the number of black and Latino students attending majority-white schools has increased since the 1970s, overall segregation has actually increased since that time. This is due in part to the growth of the minority population, but also to white flight from majority-minority schools.

The effects of segregation are far-reaching and profound. Studies have shown that students who attend racially diverse schools have higher test scores, are more likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely to drop out. They are also more likely to go on to college and succeed in their careers.

Segregation also has a negative impact on minority students, who often attend under-funded and under-resourced schools. These schools often lack experienced teachers, adequate facilities, and challenging coursework. As a result, minority students are less likely to Succeed in school and more likely to drop out.

The Brown v. Board of Education decision was a turning point in our nation’s history, but its legacy is still being fought for today. We must continue working towards the goal of truly integrated schools if we want all students to have an equal opportunity to succeed.

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