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CIVIO, A Civil Rights GameThe content on this page supplements CIVIO, a civil rights strategy card game designed by and available from Reach and Teach. Learn more>>

Brown v Board of Education of Topeka (1954)

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Racial segregation in public schools violates the 14th Amendment. "Separate but equal" argument is wrong

Decided: May 17, 1954
Issue(s): Race, School
Increases: Equality, 14th amendment
Decreases: Jim Crow, Plessy v Ferguson

 

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Linda Carol Brown and younger sister Terry Lynn had to walk along railroad tracks to get to school instead of attending a nearby whites-only school. The Court concluded unanimously, "...in the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."

In the news:

11/15/2004 Originalism versus a living Constitution are two philosophies over the US Constitution that are at odds with each other and dramatically affect choice of Supreme Court justices. With originalism, the job of Supreme Court justices is to interpret the Constitution based on what it literally says, rather than upon its intent or spirit. With a living Constitution, interpretation of the Constitution can and should be affected by changing times and changing understanding while maintaining the clear intent and spirit of the drafters of the Constitution and its amendments. This controversy was at the center of Brown v Board of Education and is again in the news this week.

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