Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka : The Issue Of Racial Segregation In Public Education

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) is considered to be a landmark case in the history of the United States. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state laws aimed at separation of white and black students in public schools were unconstitutional. The Court decision reconsidered the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, according to which segregation applied to public schools was sponsored by states. As a result, racial segregation in public education was ruled as the violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In general, the Court ruling in the case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was an important victory of the civil rights movement. The legal abolishment of racial segregation in public school system contributed to the further protection of human rights of African Americans and other minority groups.

The history of the “separate but equal” precedent is connected with the doctrine of the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which was ruled against the parents. The U.S. Supreme Court declared that “separate but equal” educational facilities were permissible in the country, based on the constitutional laws. According to Paul Finkelman (2013), “this case regarding civil rights and liberties imposed a narrow interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as sanctioned segregation laws passed by state governments in the era of Jim Crow”(p. 1181). The Supreme Court’s decision in the Plessy Case (1896) enshrined the concept of “separate but equal” in legislation, making the rights of African Americans limited in many areas of social life. In other words, the Supreme Court’s decision in the Plessy Case promoted Jim Crow laws, which were focused on providing support to racial discrimination. In general, segregation in schools led not only to the struggle for freedom of black people, but also to changes in attitudes and behaviors of Americans (Lowi et al., 2013).

In addition, it is necessary to name many other cases that were associated with the Court decisions. The plaintiffs from the states like Kansas, Virginia, Delaware, South Carolina and the District of Columbia had appealed lower court rulings denying approval of school desegregation to the Supreme Court in 1952. The lower court rulings that eventually led to the Supreme Court case included the Court decisions in the cases Bolling v. Sharpe (1954), Briggs v. Elliott (1952), Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (1952), and Gebhart v. Belton (1952). In fact, the events that took place during the Supreme Courts Session in Brown v Board of Education influenced the final decision. It has been found that when the justices could not come to agreement regarding how to provide school desegregation, “they requested re-argument and put if off for a year” (Paddock, 2011, p.76). The parties involved in the case were focused on providing new briefs. However, the most significant event was the Chief Justice’s death. Fred Vincon was succeeded by another Justice Earl Warren, who placed emphasis on the importance of the Brown case. According to Paddock (2011), Earl Warren had a strong impact on other justices due to his “persuasive power” (p. 76). He managed to unite justices, claiming that segregated public schools are “inherently unequal” (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)). Generally speaking, the Supreme Court’s decision in this case had an immediate effect on segregation in the country as it set the stage for abolishing racial segregation throughout the United States.

Thus, the case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka discussed in the video and in the Lowi chapters can be viewed as one of the most significant judicial turning points in the history of the country. The Court’s decision in the Brown case played an important role in the further legal cases, as well as in social values regarding segregation. Americans reviewed the significance of equality in society.

 

References

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). Retrieved from:<https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/347/483/case.html>

Finkelman, Paul. (2013).  Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties. Routledge.

Lowi, T. J., Ginsberg, B., Shepsle, K. A. & Ansolabehere, S. (2013).American Government: Power and Purpose. W. W. Norton, Incorporated.

Paddock, L. (2011). Supreme Court For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: April 19, 2021]
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