Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
School Segregation, Equal Protection
The Brown case was the first in a long string of judgments that marked a more active role for the Supreme Court of the United States in American life. In Topeka, Kansas in the 1950s, schools were segregated by race. Each day, Linda Brown and her sister had to walk through a dangerous railroad switchyard to get to the bus stop for the ride to their all-black elementary school. There was a school closer to the Brown's house, but it was only for white students. Linda Brown and her family believed that the segregated school system violated the Fourteenth Amendment and took their case to court. Federal district court decided that segregation in public education was harmful to black children, but because all-black schools and all-white schools had similar buildings, transportation, curricula, and teachers, the segregation was legal. The Browns appealed their case to Supreme Court stating that even if the facilities were similar, segregated schools could never be equal to one another. The Court decided that state laws requiring separate but equal schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment( Site goes Here). Earl Warren was Chief Justice during one of the most turbulent times in our nation's history. During his tenure, the Court dealt with controversial cases on civil rights and civil liberties and the very nature of the political system. The Warren Court took on the defense of individual rights as no court before it. Warren considered this a proper role for the courts; he never saw the role of the judiciary as passive, or somehow inferior to the other two branches of government. Warren was not antigovernment, but he believed that the Constitution prohibited the government from acting unfairly against the individual. In taking this position, he carved out a powerful position for the Court as a protector of civil rights and civil liberties....
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