On May 17, 1954, the ruling in the Supreme Court Case of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka was handed down. In this decision, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional, thus reversing an 1896 ruling that education should be “separate but equal.” The ruling stated that racial segregation in schools was a violation under the Fourteenth Amendment which guarantees equal protection under the law for all citizens.
This Supreme Court decision was one of the most important of the twentieth century. At the time it was made, seventeen southern states and the District of Columbia required all public schools to be racially segregated. The ruling determined that racially separate schools were inherently unequal, and suggested that the “separate but equal” argument was no longer valid even in private schools.
While this case was only a step in the right direction towards racial equality in America, and was not readily accepted be all, it was an important step nonetheless. This ruling allowed for students of all races to have the chance at an equal education, and this increased access to education was an important new advantage for minority students nationwide.
Supreme Court rulings that push the boundaries of social justice? Incredibly, daringly cool.