Mendez vs Westminster

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The Trial of the First desegregated school|
By Marcos Moran|
Even though forgotten, the stepping stone of Brown Vs. the Board of Education, Mendez Vs. Westminster was the first step to desegregate the United States of America. | |

5/1/13
5/1/13

Marcos Moran
Professor Sullivan
History 301
5/1/13
We all know of the famous trial that happen on May 17, 1954, a trial that ended all segregation in school districts all over the United States of America. With this law being enforce by the 14th amendment, it change the whole nation, colored people were now being allowed to enter into real academic schools, and compete for a better future. Of course I am talking about the Oliver Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, better known as Brown vs. the Board of Education. Even though this trial was a large stepping stone in the United States, it was not the first attempt at the desegregation of the school system. There was another case that was the creation of Brown vs. the Board of Education. This case has been forgotten over time due to the huge popularity of Brown vs. the Board of Education. Even though Brown vs. the Board of Education was more popular, both cases were important and had a large amount of similarities. The only differences were that the first was fought seven years prior to the second and a difference of ethnicity. Both cases were important in many ways, the only problem is, why is it that only one is credited and the other not? Both cases were fought for the same reason. Mendez vs. Westminster was the first big court case that stopped segregation in all the schools systems of the state of California. The reason I say this is the stepping stone of Brown vs. the Board of Education is because The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the favor of Mendez vs. Westminster, which concluded to the desegregation of schools all over California; this was the stepping stone to Brown vs. the board of Education because it was seven years prior to the ruling of Brown. The Mendez case was used to back up the Brown vs. Board of Education case and helped shape the ideas of a young NAACP attorney, Thurgood Marshall, it very surprising to people to see that Thurgood Marshall was also a lawyer in the Mendez case. You may be thinking that only LULAC (which is a Latino organization) was the only one involved with this case; but as you now know, the NCAAP contributed their part (Maria Blanco, The Lasting Impact of Mendez v. Westminster in the Struggle for Desegregation, Thu, Mar 25, 2010, http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/perspectives/lasting-impact-mendez-v-westminster-struggle-desegregation). This was great because it forced two different ethnicities and cultures join together for the same cause, which was to have the same education as white individuals and to desegregate school campuses. We are going to be looking more into the history of the trial Mendez vs. Westminster, as well as how and why it started and similarities between both the Mendez case, as well as the Brown Case. On April 1947 there was a decision ruling on the Mendez vs. the Board of Education. The United States of America Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco ruled in favor of Mendez and the other parents that stood up to the Westminster School District. Judge McCormick stated that “according to California Laws the segregation of Mexican-American public school children in the absence of a state law mandating their segregation violate California law as well as the equal protection of the law clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (A History of Mexican Americans in California, Wed, Nov 17 2004 10:00:00 pm PDT http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/5views/5views5h99.htm)”. The reason this lawsuit did not go all the way to the Supreme Court was because in the Court’s ruling, it noted that the United States Supreme Court’s segregation decisions were not controlling because, at this time, there was no...
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