Text of Brown v. Board of Education

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Part of the series on
U.S. Discrimination Law
Standards of Review

Rational basis review
Intermediate scrutiny
Strict scrutiny

Other Legal Theories

Substantive due process
State action doctrine

Defining Moments in Law

The 14th Amendment
Plessy v. Ferguson
Brown v. Board of Education
Loving v. Virginia
U.S. v. Virginia
Romer v. Evans
Lawrence v. Texas

Modalities of Constitutional Law


Brown v. Board was a landmark, and extremely controversial, Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation in public institutions.

Law & Social Change

Although the Supreme Court handed down Brown in the early 50s, it is interesting to note that little actually occurred in the way of factual desegregation for over ten years, as a result of massive resistance by southern conservatives, seeking to preserve for as long as possible the Jim Crow-structure of the early south. This raises interesting questions as to the role of the Supreme Court in bringing about actual social change. No-one today will dispute the need for the Brown decision, and its importance, but many will query whether it changed that much, or if its use was rather in sending a definitive signal that the days of segregation and institutionalized racism were at a close.

Until the article is expanded, please see