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Case Study – Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Case Study – Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Name of the Case

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)

The Court Hearing This Case

US Supreme Court

Date of Hearing

December 9, 1952

Case Facts

The case delved into racial segregation, specifically in the Topeka area. The plaintiff was Oliver Brown, a father whose daughter was denied admission to a White School (Brown, 1954). It incorporated similar suits that were addressing the same issue from other jurisdictions. NAACP brought all constituent cases together, most of which had been unsuccessful at the District Courts. The racial segregation policy had inconvenienced non-White students who were denied the opportunity to attend their schools of choice, including those near their homes.

The Plaintiff’s Prayers

  • A declaration that the school racial segregation system violated the Equal Protection Clause of US Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
  • Declare the ‘Separate but Equal’ doctrine as unconstitutional
  • Order schools in Topeka and across the US to desegregate
  • A firm injunction to avert future segregation in the public education system.

The Issue

The ultimate goal of the case was to end racial segregation in US schools.

The Court’s Holding

The court decided that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students violated the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

The Reason for the Court’s Decision

The judges were convinced that the ‘Separate but Equal’ doctrine led to inherently unequal educational facilities.


The ultimate decision by Supreme Court justices was unanimous. However, there was a wide range of opinions on different case aspects. For instance, justices Reed and Clark did not oppose segregation per se (Brown, 1954). On the other hand, Frankfurter and Jackson were hesitant to declare a decision that would prove challenging to implement. On the other hand, Douglas, Black, Burton, and Minton opposed the ‘Separate but Equal’ doctrine from the outset.

Unfamiliar Terms

  • ‘Separate but Equal’ doctrine: A legal term established in the Plessy vs. Fergusson case that allowed separation as long separate facilities were deemed equal
  • Equal Protection Clause: A 14th constitutional provision that provides for equal enjoyment of laws by all American citizens in every state


I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision on the case. The racial-based segregation policy practiced across different jurisdictions in the US was unjustifiable. All Americans are equal and should have equal access to public facilities across all states. That is why the Equal Protection Clause exists to protect all citizens.


Brown, V. (1954). Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.


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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

For this assignment, use the case you submitted for approval for Assignment 9. Please do not proceed with this assignment until you have approval on the case you submitted. Once you have approval, read the case (or skim it and read bold headings if it is very long).
Provide the following information in an MS Word document along with a copy of the case you used. You should just answer each item. This assignment is not an essay.
1. Name of Case
2. What court is hearing this case?
3. Date the case was heard.
4. What are the facts? Briefly tell the story of what happened.
5. What does the plaintiff want? In other words, what is the plaintiff seeking?
6. What is the issue?
7. What is the holding? In other words, how did the court answer the question on the issue?
8. Why did the court decide the way it did?
9. Briefly summarize any dissent or concurrence.
10. Identify any unfamiliar terms.
11. Your reaction to the case (i.e., agree, disagree, surprised? Concerned?) and/or any questions you have about it.

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