Summary of Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Relevant Facts: Brown was one party of many who was denied admission to a school based solely on his race. The following cause of action was brought forth to put an end to a violation of constitutional rights.
Issue: Under Constitutional law, does the denial of admission to a school of a person of color violate the 14th Amendment when the school interposes that the old rule of Plessy exists?
Court’s Rationale/Reasoning: The court refused to accept the fact that the term “separate but equal” exists anymore in society. Cumming did not challenge this premise, where Plessy only addressed transportation (ineffectively). Gaines, Sweatt, Sipuel, McLaurin all moved forward in respect to no longer denying blacks the right to the same rights as whites, when all things are equal. But never had the court addressed Plessy until now.
Education is considered one of the most important responsibilities of the state and local governments, and thus the circumstances in which this decision must be based rest solely on the previous statement. If such a fact exists, it cannot be denied to another person based on race or religion or background. Such a denial would in essence create a permanent underclass of citizens who have not the knowledge or ability to attain knowledge which is so vital to competing in society equally. Dividing citizens up when the facilities, teaching situations and the overall situation are so inequitable flies in the face of such a premise.
Rule: The field of public education shall no longer contain the premise of “separate but equal.” There is therefore no more segregation.
Important Dicta: Any psychological knowledge of the decision in Plessy is now supported by modern authority.