When was the Brown vs Board of Education Decision Made?

The Brown vs Board of Education decision was made on May 17, 1954. This landmark Supreme Court case overturned the Plessy vs Ferguson decision of 1896, which had separate but equal facilities for blacks and whites.

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Introduction

The unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) is one of the most important moments in the history of the United States Supreme Court. The decision overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine that had been put in place by the court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). The “separate but equal” doctrine had allowed for segregated facilities as long as those facilities were equal in quality.

The Brown decision found that separate facilities were inherently unequal and therefore violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The opinion was written by Chief Justice Earl Warren and supported by all eight of the other justices who heard the case.

The case began when thirteen plaintiffs, all parents of African American children, filed suit against their local school districts in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware. The district court consolidated the cases and heard them together. After deliberating for over a year, the court announced its decision on May 17, 1954.

The Plessy v. Ferguson Decision

The Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 cemented the legal principles of “separate but equal” public facilities and Jim Crow laws. This case arose when a man named Homer Plessy was jailed for sitting in a “whites only” railroad car. Plessy, who was 7/8 white and 1/8 black, argued that the Louisiana law mandating separate but equal railroad cars violated the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantee all citizens the “equal protection of the laws.”

In a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled against Plessy, holding that “separate but equal” accommodations did not violate the Constitution as long as they were truly equal in quality. Justice John Harlan was the lone dissenter in the case, arguing that state-mandated segregation violated the 13th Amendment’s guarantee of freedom from discrimination.

The Brown v. Board of Education Decision

The Brown v. Board of Education decision was made on May 17, 1954. This was a landmark case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The case began when a group of African American parents in Topeka, Kansas attempted to enroll their children in all-white schools. The parents were unsuccessful, and they sued the school district arguing that segregation violated their children’s rights to equal protection under the law.

The Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the plaintiffs, and it issued a unanimous ruling declaring that “separate but equal” education was not constitutional. The Brown v. Board of Education decision led to the integration of public schools across the United States, and it is considered one of the most important rulings ever issued by the Supreme Court.

The Impact of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision

The Brown v. Board of Education decision had a profound impact on American society. The decision effectively desegregated public schools and ended the legal basis for racial segregation in the United States. The decision also had a significant impact on race relations, as it helped to pave the way for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Conclusion

The Brown vs Board of Education decision was made on May 17, 1954. This was a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court which declared that separate but equal facilities were unconstitutional. This ended segregation in public schools and helped to lead the way for the Civil Rights Movement.

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