5 cases from 5 different states were consolidated into one case.
In each case, black children seek admission to the public schools in their communities on a non-segregated basis.
They contend that the schools are not equal and cannot be made equal; thus, they are deprived of the equal protections of the laws.
SCOTUS found for children, separate but equal unconstitutional in education.
Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other tangible factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities?
Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other tangible factors may be equal, deprives the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities.
The history and circumstances surrounding the adoption of the 14th Amendment provide no help.
Congress was split on the issue; some thought that the amendment would prohibit segregation while others thought that it would leave it untouched.
Also, public education was very different at the time of the passing of the amendment than it is today. Thus, it is not surprising that there is so little in the history of the amendment relating to its intended effect on public education.
The words of the amendment are prohibitory; however, they also contain a necessary implication of a positive immunity--the right to exemption from unfriendly legislation against them distinctively as colored and exemption from legal discrimination.
Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments.
It is doubtful that a child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.
Such an opportunity is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.
To separate children from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generated a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.
In the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
Unanimous decision; had to be written less strongly to get the unanimous vote?
Used social science studies instead of moral judgments.