Plessy v. Ferguson case is argued before the Supreme Court. Is Louisiana's law mandating racial segregation on its trains unconstitutional? Argued to be an unconstitutional infringement on both the privileges and immunities and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Plessy v. Ferguson decided
May 18, 1896
7-1 decision that segregation is constitutional. Only dissenter was Justice Harlan. Justice Brewer was unable to participate.
Sweatt sues the University of Texas Law School
May 16, 1946
Sweatt applied to the university, but was denied admission due to his race.
Sweatt v. Painter is argued
April 4, 1950
Sweatt v. Painter case is brought to the Supreme Court. Was the Texas admissions scheme wrong to deny Sweatt admission because of his race? Thurgood Marshall argued that it was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Sweatt v. Painter is decided
June 5, 1950
Supreme Court finds that it was unconstitutional to deny Sweatt admission because of his race. This was a unanimous decision.
Brown v. Board of Education class action suit
A class action suit is filed against the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas.
Brown v. Board of Education argued
December 9, 1952 - December 11, 1952
Brown v. Board of Education argued before the Supreme Court. Is the segregation of public education, based solely on race, unconstitutional? Argued to as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Brown v. Board of Education reargued
December 7, 1953 - December 9, 1953
Case is reargued before the court because a decision was not made before the end of the term (June 1953).
Brown v. Board of Education decided
May 17, 1954
Unanimous decision that racial segregation of public education is unconstitutional.