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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (Brown II)

    Citation. 349 U.S. 294, 75 S. Ct. 753, 99 L. Ed. 1083, 1955 U.S. 734.

    Brief Fact Summary. In [Brown I], the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) held that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. In fashioning and effectuating decrees, which require varied solutions, the courts will be guided by equitable principles.


    Facts. In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (“Brown I”), the Supreme Court held that racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional.

    Issue. Given the decision in Brown I, in what manner should relief be accorded?

    Held. The judgment in the Delaware Case, ordering the immediate admission of the Plaintiffs to previously segregated schools, is affirmed. The judgments below for all other cases are reversed and remanded to the District Courts to take such proceedings and enter such orders as necessary to and proper to desegregate the public schools with all deliberate speed.
    Chief Justice Earl Warren (J. Warren) stated that full implementation of the Brown v. Board of Education decisions can best be handled by varied local solutions. Hence, the Supreme Court deems it appropriate to remand the cases to the lower courts to benefit from their discretion.

    Discussion. Brown II has been widely criticized as being too lenient. Since segregation in the public schools is unconstitutional, the argument runs, the Supreme Court cannot simply wait for the jurisdictions to “transition to a racially nondiscriminatory school system” (Brown II) “with all deliberate speed.” Questions also abound as to what time frame “all deliberate speed” constitutes.

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