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Essay on United States Landmark Supreme Court Decisions

2021-08-25 12:13:52
3 pages
636 words
University/College: 
Harvey Mudd College
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Essay
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The Supreme Court of United States is arguably the most influential court in the world. The court's written opinions usually change the course of the History of America. Being the court of last resort in the United States, it has ultimate control over highest states courts whenever a question regarding federal constitutional law is at issue. However, Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v Board of Education of Topeka trials are regarded as some of the most controversial landmark rulings ever made by the US Supreme Court. The two different but relatively similar contextual trials took place in different years of 1896 and 1954 respectively.

The Plessy v. Ferguson case arose from an incident in 1892 in which a passenger known as Homer Plessy, a white folk refused to move to Jim Crow, a railroad car reserved for blacks. As a result, Plessy was arrested and arraigned in a supreme court for trial CITATION Tho12 \l 1033 (Davis). Similarly, the Brown v. Board of education was also taken to the Supreme Court. The decision was to seek justice for Linda Brown and her sister, who had to endure the looming danger of walking through a railroad switchyard on their way to the bus stop to catch a ride to their all black-elementary school in spite of another school, "for all whites," being closer to their house. In both cases, the plaintiffs were advocating for their rights as established under the 14th Amendment of the constitution.

Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v Board of Education trial cases were both critical, and came at a critical time in which the blacks were standing up for their rights. As a result of the Plessy v. Ferguson case, the Jim Crow Laws were established. These were segregation laws that violated many rights that had been granted to African-Americans through the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Jim Crow phrase became popular as an offensive black code, and some laws that came with it were stringent as if the blacks were still in slavery. On the other hand, Brown v the Board of Education trial case struck down "separate but equal" rule as unconstitutional. The ruling was a significant milestone in the civil rights movement to allow the integration of all citizens irrespective of their race CITATION Jak04 \l 1033 (Miller) .

Regarding legal justice, it can be asserted that Linda Brown and her sister gained substantially out of the trial. This is because they would minimize the traveling distance to school as well as staying safe from the switchyard railroad. Additionally, many African Americans would get justice from equal treatment. On the contrary, Plessy gained nothing out of racial segregation barring African Americans from sharing facilities with white folks. Actually, in the real sense, there was nothing to gain or lose in determining who was white and who was not.

The Supreme Court decisions in both cases were critical to the distinct interpretation of the 14th Amendment to its full realization. The overturning of the Plessy v. Ferguson decision marked a significant change in the social and political framework in the History of the United States. Despite, some few elements of segregation stamped by the initial Jim Crow laws, the US has made remarkable steps in ensuring that civil rights and freedoms are upheld without fear or favor by race, religion or civil movements. In fulfillment of the brotherhood spirit championed by the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the United States over the years has continued to establish a vibrant coalition of universal faith-based community with universal values focused on providing equal opportunities and justice to every citizen and people globally.

Works Cited

BIBLIOGRAPHY Davis, Thomas J. Plessy v. Ferguson. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2012.

Miller, Jake. Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka: Challenging School Segregation in the Supreme Court. NewYork: The Rosen Publishin Group Inc, 2004.

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