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Bolling v. Sharpe

    Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioners, Negro minors (Petitioners), allege the segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia deprives them of Due Process of law under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution).

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Racial segregation in public schools is a denial of the due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

    Facts. The Petitioners, were denied admission to a public school in the District of Columbia based solely on their race. The Petitioners filed suit in the District Court seeking aid in admission. The District court dismissed the complaint. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) granted certiorari before the judgment of the Court of Appeals because of the importance of the constitutional question presented. The District of Columbia is governed by federal law, not state law therefore the 14amendment of the Constitution does not govern the District of Columbia. Instead the Petitioners argue that segregation of public school children violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

    Issue. Whether the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution is violated by the segregation of public school children in the District of Columbia?

    Held. Yes, the racial segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia is a denial of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

    Discussion. The District of Columbia is governed by federal law rather than state law. Thus, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth amendment is not applicable. The Supreme Court found in this case that segregation of public school children is also unconstitutional based on federal laws because personal liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment were violated.

    Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
    Citation. 349 U.S. 294 (1955).

    Brief Fact Summary. After its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) determines that the lower courts in which the cases originated were the proper venue for determining how to best implement racial desegregation.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The lower courts in which the cases of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka first originated are the proper venue for determining how to best implement racial desegregation in light of varied school problems and different local conditions.

    Facts. The Supreme Court, after ruling that racial segregation in public schools violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, determined that the lower courts in which the cases of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka first originated would be the proper venue in determining how to implement racial desegregation. The Supreme Court acknowledged that these lower courts should structure this desegregation because of varied local school problems and local conditions. The Supreme Court stated the lower courts would be guided by equitable principles, recognizing the need for elimination of obstacles in making the transition to desegregation.

    Issue. How to implement the racial desegregation in public education in light of the decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

    Held. Remanded. The lower courts, which originally heard these cases, will determine how to implement racial desegregation in public schools with all deliberate speed.

    Discussion. In light of the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional, the Supreme Court remanded the cases back to the lower courts to implement racial desegregation with all deliberate speed.


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