Equal Access - Race, Representation, and the State
Two Supreme Court cases, among others, shaped the legal catalyst for the civil rights movement. Equal access and equal protection under the law were unanswered questions in the legal system in the 20th century, and arguably still today. Review both cases below. Click on the title of the case to review the information about the cases. Answer the questions below.
While Brown v. Board of Education is a widely known landmark Supreme Court case, few can trace its origins to the case of nine-year-old Sylvia Mendez in Mendez v. Westminster.
Sylvia’s case, which was decided in the federal courts in California, preceded Brown by about eight years. Thurgood Marshall represented Sylvia Mendez and Linda Brown. Marshall used some of the same arguments from Mendez to win Brown v. Board of Education.
The second - Brown v Board of Education.
The case that came to be known as Brown v. Board of Education was actually the name given to five separate cases that were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the issue of segregation in public schools. These cases were Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Briggs v. Elliot, Davis v. Board of Education of Prince Edward County (VA.), Boiling v. Sharpe, and Gebhart v. Ethel. While the facts of each case are different, the main issue in each was the constitutionality of state-sponsored segregation in public schools. Once again, Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund handled these cases.
Although it acknowledged some of the plaintiffs’/plaintiffs claims, a three-judge panel at the U.S. District Court that heard the cases ruled in favor of the school boards. The plaintiffs then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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10/23/2014 03:22:42 pm
What I saw about the American political cultural back then is that they were quicker to uphold the laws and amendments. They listened to the arguments and settled them by what was right and not for the person that had the most money. The settled cases that made a difference now and we currently have the benefits of those cases. All people are able to attend any school they want and not have to worry about segregation. The things that connects the cases are that they both had to do with segregation in schools. In both cases the white people wanted to keep minorities separated from them. They went so far as to open the same kind of schools on the same campus just to keep the white students separate. They are trying to bring segregation back by having private school and private prisons. Tuition is so expensive for private schools that most minority people can’t afford it. Basically it is segregation without the word. Everyone is welcome to attend these schools if they can afford to pay the tuition that they have so conveniently made unattainable by the average working family. I like what the Mendez family did to get their daughter in the school that they wanted her to attend and the school she had the right to attend. I was glad to read about another minority group fighting for what is right. In this case it showed how anyone given the fair opportunity they can and do excel. When we fight for our civil right we do win. We have to go back to standing long and strong knowing that in the end we can and do win.
10/24/2014 03:31:15 pm
I agree with you when saying that they decided quick and were fair with the rulings. It is also unfair that even though we can get educated the private schools exist, and obviously the people that have more money can afford to go to those private schools and it is also unfair that again, the minorities are the ones being thrown into the private prisons. It is like them wanting only the elite to rise and everyone else just getting stepped on or always living in misery. And yes! Everyone can win if they set their heart and mind to it.
11/1/2014 05:59:21 am
not much to say on this comment but i will say making quick decisions doesn't always turn out the right way so its just best to premeditate those actions and do things the right way so a person does not have to back track.
10/24/2014 04:31:55 am
the decisions in these cases american political culture such as the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.They listened to the arguments and settled them by what was right and not for the person that had the most money. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, the connections fell in place, which allowed state-sponsored segregation, insofar as it applied to public education.,challenged racial segregation in Orange County, California schools. challenged the practice of school segregation in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. They claimed that their children, along with 5,000 other children of "Mexican" ancestry, were victims of unconstitutional discrimination by being forced to attend separate "schools for Mexicans" in the Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and El Modena school districts of Orange County.there are many but i will only say two, one is that i am current student in college that take my education seriously, but for the other half they just come because they see dollar signs.the other issue is that you have people who want to lean that can't afford to pay for school but yet in still are determine to reach there goals. these type of students rely on some for of government to support them in some kind of way, but do hey get may maybe not?to conclude my opinion i feel like everybody has the right to learn as much as they want, people should never be deprived the the opportunity to be updated on the latest information to keep them in tuned with society.
10/24/2014 03:41:10 pm
I agree that everyone should be allowed to learn as much as they want and no one should ever be deprived of education. Some people are very serious about education for themselves and their children and they will do whatever it takes to achieve it. For these people I believe there shouldn’t be any obstacles or restriction as to where they can receive their education and if some type of financial assistance is needed to reach their desired goals then they should be allowed to have it.
10/24/2014 03:41:24 pm
It is right to say that those who want their education will fight for it no matter what. Also, it is true that many students rely on loans or scholarships, grants, or some other type of help but sometimes they might not get them as much as they really need them. What do you mean by "people should never be deprived the opportunity to be updated on the latest information to keep them in tuned with society"...
11/1/2014 05:57:24 am
i feel that education is key to learn things that aren't known to man
10/24/2014 03:25:18 pm
The decisions made in these cases were fair, quick, and even then, California was already ahead and diverse like it is now, by leading the country towards the end of segregation. Both cases argued the violation of "equal protection" in the public education system. It is also interesting to read that Marshall implemented some arguments from Sylvia v. Westminster to win the Brown v. Board of Education case, which in turn caused the Supreme Court to deeper analyze segregation and actually act upon the states and ask that they start planning on how they were going to go about desegregating their schools. The cases brought up how Latinos and African American students were treating unfairly by the schools making them appear as being less than the "average white student." Trials like these had to be won in order for the country to be how it is now. Only 60 or so years ago the U.S. began the process of desegregating schools and let the minorities have a voice on how and where they were going to be educated. Some people that could be in college right now take the opportunity for granted because they did not have to fight to be able to attend any school with peers of diverse backgrounds. Thanks to the powerful message that anyone can have anything if they fight for it, many people in present time are fighting for equal rights in diverse situations from gay marriage to stopping police brutality. Brown v. Board of Education and Mendez v. Westminster gives a voice to every person who is constantly treated unfairly and shows the people to stand up for every right automatically "given" to every U.S. citizen.
10/24/2014 03:46:45 pm
I agree that these cases were handled fair and quick. I also believe that people back then had more faith in the judicial system because of these cases. They saw that cases to end segregation in schools were being won and when they encounter a similar case they didn’t hesitate to bring it to court because of the past victories.
10/30/2014 08:40:30 am
The decision of both cases show and open mind thinking on that time politically. The idea of a colored students being accepted to an all white school, is radical thinking for that time and that era.
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