339 U.S. 637 (1950), 34, McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

Docket Nº:No. 34
Citation:339 U.S. 637, 70 S.Ct. 851, 94 L.Ed. 1149
Party Name:McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
Case Date:June 05, 1950
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 637

339 U.S. 637 (1950)

70 S.Ct. 851, 94 L.Ed. 1149

McLaurin

v.

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

No. 34

United States Supreme Court

June 5, 1950

Argued April 3-4, 1950

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA

Syllabus

Appellant, a Negro citizen of Oklahoma possessing a master's degree, was admitted to the Graduate School of the state supported University of Oklahoma as a candidate for a doctorate in education and was permitted to use the same classroom, library and cafeteria as white students. Pursuant to a requirement of state law that the instruction of Negroes in institutions of higher education be "upon a segregated basis," however, he was assigned to a seat in the classroom in a row specified for Negro students, was assigned to a special table in the library, and, although permitted to eat in the cafeteria at the same time as other students, was assigned to a special table there.

Held: the conditions under which appellant is required to receive his education deprive him of his personal and present right to the equal protection of the laws, and the Fourteenth Amendment precludes such differences in treatment by the State based upon race. Pp. 638-642.

(a) The restrictions imposed upon appellant impair and inhibit his ability to study, to engage in discussions and exchange views with other students, and, in general, to learn his profession. Pp. 640-641.

(b) That appellant may still be set apart by his fellow students and may be in no better position when these restrictions are removed is irrelevant, for there is a constitutional difference between restrictions imposed by the State which prohibit the intellectual commingling of students and the refusal of students to commingle where the State presents no such bar. P. 641.

(c) Having been admitted to a state supported graduate school, appellant must receive the same treatment at the hands of the State as students of other races. P. 642.

87 F.Supp. 528 reversed.

The proceedings below are stated in the opinion. The judgment below is reversed, p. 642.

Page 638

VINSON, J., lead opinion

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE VINSON delivered the opinion of the Court.

In this case, we are faced with the question whether a state may, after admitting a student to graduate instruction in its state university, afford him different treatment from other students solely because of his race. We decide only this issue; see Sweatt v. Painter, ante, p. 629.

Appellant is a Negro citizen of Oklahoma. Possessing a Master's degree, he applied for admission to the University of Oklahoma in order to pursue studies and courses leading to a Doctorate in Education. At that time, his application was denied, solely because of his race. The school authorities were required to exclude him by the Oklahoma statutes, 70 Okl.Stat. (1941) §§ 455, 456, 457, which made it a misdemeanor to maintain or operate, teach or attend a school at which both whites and Negroes are enrolled or taught. Appellant filed a complaint requesting injunctive relief, alleging that the action of the school authorities and the statutes upon which their action was based were unconstitutional and deprived him

Page 639

of the equal protection of the laws. Citing our decisions in Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 (1938), and Sipuel v. Board of Regents, 332 U.S. 631 (1948), a statutory three-judge District Court held, 87 F.Supp. 526, that the State had a constitutional duty to provide him with the education he sought as soon as it provided that education for applicants of any other group. It further held that, to the extent the Oklahoma statutes denied him admission, they were unconstitutional and void. On the assumption, however, that the State would follow the constitutional mandate, the court refused to grant the injunction, retaining jurisdiction of the cause with full power to issue any necessary and proper orders to secure McLaurin the equal protection of the laws.

Following this decision, the Oklahoma legislature amended these statutes...

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153 practice notes
  • 432 F.2d 213 (6th Cir. 1970), 19776, Caldwell v. Craighead
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • 25 Septiembre 1970
    ...equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment commands no less than this. McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 339 U.S. 637, 70 S.Ct. 851, 94 L.Ed. 1149 (1949). I would reverse and remand for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion. Notes: [1] Rules 23(......
  • 801 F.2d 799 (6th Cir. 1986), 84-6055, Geier v. Alexander
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • 5 Septiembre 1986
    ...those attended by white students. Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, 70 S.Ct. 848, 94 L.Ed. 1114 (1950); McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637, 70 S.Ct. 851, 94 L.Ed. 1149 (1950). The remedy prescribed in Sweatt was that the black applicant be admitted to the University of Texas La......
  • 47 So.2d 608 (Fla. 1950), State ex rel. Hawkins v. Board of Control of Fla.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court of Florida
    • 1 Agosto 1950
    ...342 Mo. 121, 113 S.W.2d 783, complying with mandate 344 Mo. 1238, 131 S.W.2d 217; McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Ed., 70 S.Ct. 851 reversing 87 F.Supp. 528; Fisher v. Hurst, 333 U.S. 147, 68 S.Ct. 389, 92 L.Ed. 604, denying motion for conforming to mandate of Sipuel v. Board ......
  • 123 F.Supp. 193 (D.Md. 1954), Civ. 5965, Lonesome v. Maxwell
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 4th Circuit District of Maryland
    • 27 Julio 1954
    ...decisions of this Court in Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, 70 S.Ct. 848 [29 L.Ed. 1114], and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637, 70 S.Ct. 851 [94 L.Ed. On remand, the Supreme Court of Florida said [54 So.2d 116]: 'We should announce and adhere to our considered judgment as to......
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116 cases
  • 432 F.2d 213 (6th Cir. 1970), 19776, Caldwell v. Craighead
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • 25 Septiembre 1970
    ...equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment commands no less than this. McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 339 U.S. 637, 70 S.Ct. 851, 94 L.Ed. 1149 (1949). I would reverse and remand for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion. Notes: [1] Rules 23(......
  • 801 F.2d 799 (6th Cir. 1986), 84-6055, Geier v. Alexander
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • 5 Septiembre 1986
    ...those attended by white students. Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, 70 S.Ct. 848, 94 L.Ed. 1114 (1950); McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637, 70 S.Ct. 851, 94 L.Ed. 1149 (1950). The remedy prescribed in Sweatt was that the black applicant be admitted to the University of Texas La......
  • 47 So.2d 608 (Fla. 1950), State ex rel. Hawkins v. Board of Control of Fla.
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court of Florida
    • 1 Agosto 1950
    ...342 Mo. 121, 113 S.W.2d 783, complying with mandate 344 Mo. 1238, 131 S.W.2d 217; McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Ed., 70 S.Ct. 851 reversing 87 F.Supp. 528; Fisher v. Hurst, 333 U.S. 147, 68 S.Ct. 389, 92 L.Ed. 604, denying motion for conforming to mandate of Sipuel v. Board ......
  • 123 F.Supp. 193 (D.Md. 1954), Civ. 5965, Lonesome v. Maxwell
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 4th Circuit District of Maryland
    • 27 Julio 1954
    ...decisions of this Court in Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, 70 S.Ct. 848 [29 L.Ed. 1114], and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637, 70 S.Ct. 851 [94 L.Ed. On remand, the Supreme Court of Florida said [54 So.2d 116]: 'We should announce and adhere to our considered judgment as to......
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1 firm's commentaries
  • Supreme Court Opinion in Fisher v. University of Texas Affirmative Action Case
    • United States
    • JD Supra United States
    • 24 Junio 2013
    ...(internal quotation marks omitted)). We flatly rejected this line of arguments in McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Ed., 339 U. S. 637 (1950),where we held that segregation would be unconstitutional even if white students never tolerated blacks. Id., at 641 (“It may be argued th......
35 books & journal articles
  • Material Causes of the Five Eras of American Law
    • United States
    • The Path of Constitutional Law Part II: The Form Or Shape Of Constitutional Law
    • 1 Enero 2007
    ...e.g., Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 (1938); Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 626 (1950); McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 (1950). [65] Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 216 (1944), discussed in Hall, supra note 14, at 251-52, 265. [66] See generally Gunn......
  • Colleges and Universities
    • United States
    • West's Encyclopedia of American Law Be
    • 1 Enero 2005
    ...(Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337, 59 S. Ct. 232, 83 L. Ed. 208 [1938]). Next, in McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637, 70 S. Ct. 851, 94 L. Ed. 1149 (1950), the Court held that the University of Oklahoma could not force its only black graduate student to sit in a......
  • The common law genius of the Warren Court.
    • United States
    • William and Mary Law Review Vol. 49 Nbr. 3, December 2007
    • 1 Diciembre 2007
    ...(1946). (100.) 334 U.S. 1 (1948). (101.) 332 U.S. 631 (1948). (102.) See id. at 633. (103.) 339 U.S. 629 (1950). (104.) Id. at 634. (105.) 339 U.S. 637 (1950). (106.) See id. at 640-42. (107.) Id. at 641. (108.) Louis Michael Seidman, Brown and Miranda, 80 CAL. L. REV. 673, 708 (1992). (109......
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
    • United States
    • West's Encyclopedia of American Law Milestones in the Law
    • 1 Enero 2005
    ...It is vigorously argued and not without some basis therefore that the later decisions of the Supreme Court in McLaurin v. Oklahoma, 339 U.S. 637, 70 S.Ct. 851, 84 L.Ed. 1149, and Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, 70 S.Ct. 848, 94 L.Ed. 1114, show a trend away from the Plessy and Lum cases. M......
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