Case brief Unit

Case brief Unit

Case brief


Case name:Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 347 U.S. 483 (1954)

Facts: Blackchildren were denied admission to public schools that requiredsegregation based on race. The children through their legalrepresentatives (parents) sued. The plaintiffs argued thatsegregation violated the constitution under the Equal ProtectionClause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Proceduralhistory: The case was a consolidation of cases from the states ofKansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware. In all cases exceptone (Delaware), a three-judge federal district court cited Plessyv. Fergson, 163 U. S. 537 under the &quotseparate but equal&quotin denying the plaintiffs relief.

Issue: Is itconstitutional to allow race-based segregation of children into“separate but equal” public schools?

Holding (andJudgment): No. Segregation of school children solely on the basisof color violates the equal protection clause of the FourteenthAmendment. Although physical facilities maybe equal in all publicschools, color-based segregation generates a sense of inferiorityamong black children that may never be undone.

Dissents/concurrences:(where applicable)

Reasoning:The Supreme Court reasoned that education in public schools is aright which must be made available to all on equal terms includingtangible and intangible factors. The separate but equal doctrineadopted in Plessy v. Ferguson had no place in public educationas it was intended for the public transportation system. Intangiblefactors in the area of public education created inequality contraryto the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United StatesConstitution.

My comment:The fact that the plaintiff provided evidence to show thatblack-schools received inferior education was enough for the court toaffirm that the separate but equal doctrine could not apply in thearea of education. Although the fourteenth amendment was primarilydesigned to protect the black people, the positive implications areyet to be fully realized.


Brown v. Board ofEducation, 347 U.S. 483. 1954. Web. 29th Sept 2015.