Brown v. Board of Education
Overview and Analysis
Brown v. Board of Education was a seminal ruling by the Supreme Court in 1954, in the struggle for racial equality. It overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and ruled that segregation of schools is unconstitutional. Full name Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. Actually a number of cases that were consolidated under the name brown.
History of Brown I, Brown II, and related cases should go here.
While almost everyone agrees that Brown v. Board of Education correctly determined that Plessy v. Ferguson was incorrectly decided, many scholars on the right and the left are critical (for different reasons) of the reasoning used in the decision which depended largely on social science evidence and left the extent to which school desegregation was required unclear. Half a century later, Brown v. Board of Education is an object lesson in the limits to what can be achieved through the courts. While "de jure" segregation of schools by race is now banned everywhere, the desegregation orders which lead to school busing in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education have been rescinded in much of the nation and schools remain highly segregated by race on a "de facto" basis as a result of "white flight" from minority majority school districts. Public schools remains, in fact, both segregated and unequal in the United States.
Full Text of Supreme Court Opinions
- Brown v. Board of Education (1954) - Also known as Brown I.
- Brown v. Board of Education (1955) - Also known as Brown II
- Justice Thurgood Marshall - Plaintiff's lawyer in Brown.
- Chief Justice Earl Warren - Author of unanimous decision in both Brown I, and Brown II
- Human Rights
- Racial Nondiscrimination