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Landmark Educational Laws Cases

7 pages
1866 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
Case study
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Some years back the educational laws of the United States were very discriminative (Hartman et al.36). The educational system practiced a lot of discrimination. The 14th Amendment made the rights of the former slaves stronger than before. The Amendments did not solve the issues of discrimination entirely. Most states maintained laws that encouraged segregation which did not allow African Americans and whites to use same public institutions.

Brown versus the Board of Education

Abstract Statement

This case involved the use of segregation laws. The plaintiff sued the Board of education because the allowed racial segregation in schools despite the constitution stating that every citizen should be treated equally (Hartman et al. 37). The first four cases did not succeed but the fifth case made it, and segregation was declared illegal. Further, the court ordered all the schools that practiced separate but equal rule to slowly start the process of inclusivity.

The case

The Brown versus the Board of Education involved five cases with the similar complaint of racial segregation. Racial terms defined the school system of this era. The first argument is the Briggs versus Elliot. The plaintiff sued the segregated educated establishment in Clarendon County in South Carolina with evidence from social scientists studies that claimed that the segregated education made the African-American children develop low self-esteem (Hartman et al. 36). The case was presented to a three- bench judges. Two of the three judges rejected the claim but ordered the defendants to offer educational facilities to black children (Hartman et al. 36). Only Judge J. Wates Waring agreed that segregated schools poisoned African-American childrens mind and called segregation an evil that required abolishment. The second case was referred to as the Brown versus Board of Education Topeka, Kansas. The lawsuit challenged the idea of segregation education facilities.

The judges favored the defendant while partly stating that the segregation indeed did affect the African-American children mental and educational development and denied them specific benefits found in the white schools. The third case got named as Gebhart et al. versus Belton et al. The case involved challenging of the racial practices in the education sector (Hartman et al. 36). The plaintiff aimed at overturning the court order. The plaintiff argued that the decision went against their constitutional rights (Hartman et al. 36).

Davis et al. versus County Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia et al. became the fourth case. The case got heard by a three bench district court judges. The case argued about whether racial segregation should get aborted since the quality of black education school got improved (Hartman et al. 36). The three-judge panel ruled in favor of the county board by stating that the for a long many years segregation part of the peoples practice. But the judges of the state chancery court also gave orders to Prince Edward School board to continue improving the standard of the black schools (Hartman et al. 36).

The fifth case got named as Bolling Versus Sharp. It challenged the segregation in schools in Colombia district. The plaintiff ignored the issue of inadequate facilities in segregated schools, and the debated got based solely on the subject of segregation per (Hartman et al. 36). During the judgment day, the district judge who heard the case ruled that no status of inequality got made and because the issue of segregation got upheld, there existed no foundation in the declaration of independence under which the relief could get offered.

Judgement of the Supreme Court

In the spring of 1952, the Supreme Court allowed the transfer of the cases from lower courts to the superior one (Hartman et al. 37). A decision got made that all cases will get a hearing together. On 9th December 1952, the Supreme Court decided to hear all the segregation cases (Hartman et al. 36). Thurgood Marshall and other lawyers supporting the removal of segregation produced evidence that suggested that separation affects children's sociological and psychological wellbeing. The defendant argued that the schools are not equal and cannot be made equal (Herman et al. 37). The Plaintiff alleged that the improvement of black schools would profoundly improve the children's education. The court began its deliberations on 11th December 1952 and there sprouted division among the judges on the case (Hartman et al. 37). Though the judges internal discussions continued for some time and on 8th June 1953, the judges jointly restored the five cases for reargument (Hartman et al. 37).

Judgement of the Supreme Court

During the preparation for the reargue of the case, on 8th September 1953 Justice Fred Vinson passed away and got replaced by Earl Warren (Hartman et al. 37). Davis disputed that the designers of the amendment did not consider segregation per se as the refusal of due process. The court ordered the removal of discrimination in schools.

Foundational law facts of the case

After the arguments, Judge Warren mobilized his fellow judges to speak with a single voice. The final readings done by Warren stated that through segregation there exists an unconstitutional denial of equal rights (Hartman et al. 37). The judges held on the case to reargue on how to come up with the implementation process. Warren called the 14th amendment as inconclusive education topped as one of the most critical areas for both local and national government (Hartman et al. 37). After the ruling, there existed a significant rebellion. The judicial restraint followers felt that the judiciary overstepped its mandate by writing a new policy. On 31st May 1955, Judge Warren read the unanimous decision where all the school got ordered to immediately start the process of ending the segregation (Harman et al. 37). The case ended with the abolishment of separate but equal state in the education system (Brown n. p).

Plessy versus Ferguson


The plaintiff (Homer Plessy) sued the state Louisiana for establishing laws that encouraged segregation. One of the state laws demanded that in a train, an African-American should stand for a person of Caucasian origin to sit.Plessy to rise and he got sued. He contended in Supreme Court and the State worn

The case

The case involved Homer Plessy and the state Louisiana. Justice Henry Billing Brown handled the case. He acted as a lone dissenter. Though the Declaration of Independence stated that all people in the United States are equal, there existed much discrimination, especially racial related practices. Hence, in 1892 an African America Homer Plessy in a New Orleans train declined to offer a white man a seat as stated in the laws of the state of Louisiana (History n. p). Because of his behavior, Plessy got arrested. Plessy decided to contend the law of segregation. His case went up to the Supreme Court by 1896, and the court ruled against the Plessy (History n. p).

Facts considered in the Judicial review

The Declaration of Independence state that all persons are equal and this clause served as the foundation of the case's judgment. The judge stated that the purpose of the fourteenth amendment was to ensure everyone is fair but not remove racial distinction (History 2018). He also claimed that the constitution could not force people to be treated fairly if they are socially unequal.

Tinker versus Des Moines (1969)

Case Abstract

The case involved 15 year old Tinker, a sibling and a friend against Des Moines Independent Community School in the year 1961 (Mason-King n. p). Tinker and the rest sued the school for suspending them because they tied band can cause chaos in school. At the district level, the Tinker and the rest lost the case to the school, but when the matter went to the Supreme Court, the suspension got rifted. The judgment stated that no school should assume that student action can bring unpleasant circumstances and that students should have rights to express themselves.

The case

The plaintiff, in this case, included Tinker, his sister, and a friend while the Des Moines Independent Community School acted as the defendant. The case made the foundation of lawsuits involving discipline and manners. Before this case, such lawsuits got heard in state courts could and mostly the court favored the school administrators. Such decision got based on assumptions ideas that learner possessed that believed schooling as a privilege and not a right.

Judgement of the Supreme Court

The Tinker versus Des Moines case final decision got held in Supreme Court after the Judge Stephenson, a district court Judge, sided with the school and the case got appealed in Supreme Court (Lannacci 2017). A 15-year-Old Tinker, a friend, and his sister decide to protest the Vietnam War by wearing a dark wristband to school (Mason-King n. p). The students attended the Des Moines Independent Community school district in Iowa (Stahl n. p). When they got an ordered to remove the wristband they refused and got suspended as per school regulations. The filed a case to block the schools and its management from issuing them to the disciplinary process and also asked for nominal damages (Mason-King n. p). The court review stated that an educational institution could not give any prohibitions just because they fear something undesired will happen. Further, the report indicated that there exist no findings that show that engaging in illegal behavior will affect the behavior outcome of an individual in the school set up and hence the suspension could not continue. Justice Fortas dealt with the case and delivered the hearings (Mason-King n. p).

Judgement and foundation facts of the case

The Justice Further said that the school possess no total power over the students and the students have rights to express themselves and are protected by the constitution while inside and out of the school system. The case shed lights on the future trials that involved learners behavior and schools actions toward students misbehavior. The judge clarified that the students constitutional right to not disappear once inside the school environment.

Goss versus Lopez case (1971)


In 1971, Lopez as the plaintiff sued the Columbus, the school for giving him a ten day's dismissal for allegedly being part of school disruption (Students Rights n. p). The school did not offer Lopez a chance to confirm his involvement before dismissing him.

Dwight Lopez was a student at Columbus Central High School. In 1971, some learner engaged themselves in a school disruption, and some school utilities got destroyed (Student Rights n. p). Though he denied his participating, Lopez did not have the opportunity to present his side of the argument, and he got suspended for ten days as one of the persons who got involved in the commotion (Hinchey 64). Together with eight other suspended students, they filed a suit stating that the 14th amendment act got violated in the process (Students Right n. p).

Consideration Facts and Judgement

On January 1975, the court gave its decision and stated that the student must receive a notice and a hearing before assertions like suspension get applied. Judge White gave the opinion (Hinchey 65). Other involved include Judges Douglass, Brennah, Stewart, Marshall, and Powell acted as the dissenting judges. The dissenting judges were joined by Chief Justice Burger and Rehnquist J.J. and Blackmun (Goss n. p).

Lemon versus Kurtzman (1971)


Mr. Lemon as the leading plaintiff with the support of other citizens sued the state of Pennsylvania to have the Private Elementary and Secondary Act stated unconstitutional (U. S. n. p). At the district court, the state won the case, but the plaintiffs appealed the case to the Supreme Court. Eventually, the Supreme Cour...

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