Brown Vs Board Of Education Essay

Although it acknowledged some of the plaintiffs'/plaintiffs claims, a three-judge panel at the U. District Court that heard the cases ruled in favor of the school boards. While most wanted to reverse Plessy and declare segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, they had various reasons for doing so.

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Disappointed that the University of Maryland School of Law was rejecting black applicants solely because of their race, beginning in 1933 Thurgood Marshall (who was himself rejected from this law school because of its racial acceptance policies) decided to challenge this practice in the Maryland court system.

Before a Baltimore City Court in 1935, Marshall argued that Donald Gaines Murray was just as qualified as white applicants to attend the University of Maryland's School of Law and that it was solely due to his race that he was rejected.

He argued that the education that he was receiving in the "black" law school was not of the same academic caliber as the education that he would be receiving if he attended the "white" law school. In other words, the "black" law school was "separate," but not "equal." Like the Murray case, the Court found the only appropriate remedy for this situation was to admit Sweat to the University's law school.

In 1949, the University of Oklahoma admitted George Mc Laurin, an African American, to its doctoral program.

Beginning in the 1930s, though, the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund began to turn to the courts to try to make progress in overcoming legally sanctioned discrimination.

From 1935 to 1938, the legal arm of the NAACP was headed by Charles Hamilton Houston.Moreover, the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) strengthened the legal rights of newly freed slaves by stating, among other things, that no state shall deprive anyone of either "due process of law" or of the "equal protection of the law." Finally, the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) further strengthened the legal rights of newly freed slaves by prohibiting states from denying anyone the right to vote due to race.Despite these Amendments, African Americans were often treated differently than whites in many parts of the country, especially in the South.In 1936, the Court of Appeals also ruled in favor of Murray and ordered the law school to admit him. Beginning in 1936, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund decided to take on the case of Lloyd Gaines, a graduate student of Lincoln University (an all-black college) who applied to the University of Missouri Law School but was denied because of his race.The State of Missouri gave Gaines the option of either attending an all-black law school that it would build (Missouri did not have any all-black law schools at this time) or having Missouri help to pay for him to attend a law school in a neighboring state. Supreme Court, and, in December of that year, the Court sided with him.By a vote of 8-1, the Supreme Court ruled against , Justice Henry Billings Brown, writing the majority opinion, stated that: "The object of the [Fourteenth] amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the equality of the two races before the law, but in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to endorse social, as distinguished from political, equality. Sadly, as a result of the (1899), for instance, the Court refused to issue an injunction preventing a school board from spending tax money on a white high school when the same school board voted to close down a black high school for financial reasons.Moreover, in Despite the Supreme Court's ruling in Plessy and similar cases, many people continued to press for the abolition of Jim Crow and other racially discriminatory laws.Encouraged by their victory in Gaines' case, the NAACP continued to attack legally sanctioned racial discrimination in higher education.In 1946, an African American man named Heman Sweat applied to the University of Texas' "white" law school.In 1892, an African-American man named Homer Plessy refused to give up his seat to a white man on a train in New Orleans, as he was required to do by Louisiana state law. Plessy, contending that the Louisiana law separating blacks from whites on trains violated the "equal protection clause" of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. Constitution, decided to fight his arrest in court.By 1896, his case had made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court. If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane." The lone dissenter, Justice John Marshal Harlan, interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment another way, stated, "Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens." Justice Harlan's dissent would become a rallying cry for those in later generations that wished to declare segregation unconstitutional.

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