Issue: 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause.
In the early 1950's, racial segregation in public schools was typical across America. All schools in a given district were supposed to be equal; yet, most black schools were substandard in comparison to white schools. In Topeka, Kansas, a black girl named Linda Brown traveled further to attend her black elementary school, even though a white elementary school was nearer to her home. Her father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white elementary school nearby, yet, Linda was refused admission. Oliver Brown turned to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) for help. In numerous attempts to ensure equal opportunities for all children, the NAACP gathered members and other black parents who agreed to serve as plaintiffs, resulting in a class action suit filed against the Board of Education of Topeka Public Schools. The U.S. District Court of Kansas heard Brown's case in June of 1951. The NAACP argued that segregated schools were unequal. The Board of Education stated that segregated schools simply prepared black children for the segregation they would later face as adults, and other black children who had been great achievers in segregated schools, proved that segregated schools were not harmful to black children. The court acknowledged that segregation appeared to have detrimental effects on black children, yet, the court ruled in favor of the Board of Education. Brown and the NAACP appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, combining their case with other similar cases involving other states, opposing the segregation in schools. On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren read the decision of the "unanimous court". The key part of the decision concluded that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal and deprive minorities of "equal protection of the laws," guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. The Supreme Court struck down the "separate but equal" doctrine of Plessy vs.