347 U.S. 497 (1954), 8, Bolling v. Sharpe

Docket Nº:No. 8
Citation:347 U.S. 497, 74 S.Ct. 693, 98 L.Ed. 884
Party Name:Bolling v. Sharpe
Case Date:May 17, 1954
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 497

347 U.S. 497 (1954)

74 S.Ct. 693, 98 L.Ed. 884

Bolling

v.

Sharpe

No. 8

United States Supreme Court

May 17, 1954

Argued December 10-11, 1952

Reargued December 9, 1953

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT

Syllabus

Racial segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia is a denial to Negro children of the due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. Pp. 498-500.

(a) Though the Fifth Amendment does not contain an equal protection clause, as does the Fourteenth Amendment, which applies only to the States, the concepts of equal protection and due process are not mutually exclusive. P. 499.

(b) Discrimination may be so unjustifiable as to be violative of due process. P. 499.

(c) Segregation in public education is not reasonably related to any proper governmental objective, and thus it imposes on Negro children of the District of Columbia a burden that constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of their liberty in violation of the Due Process Clause. Pp. 499-500.

(d) In view of this Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, ante, p. 483, that the Constitution prohibits the States from maintaining racially segregated public schools, it would be unthinkable that the same Constitution would impose a lesser duty on the Federal Government. P. 500.

(e) The case is restored to the docket for further argument on specified questions relating to the form of the decree. P. 500.

Page 498

WARREN, J., lead opinion

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

This case challenges the validity of segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia. The petitioners, minors of the Negro race, allege that such segregation deprives them of due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. They were refused admission to a public school attended by white children solely because of their race. They sought the aid of the District Court for the District of Columbia in obtaining admission. That court dismissed their complaint. The Court granted a writ of certiorari before judgment in the Court of Appeals because of the importance of the constitutional question presented. 344 U.S. 873.

We have this day held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the states from maintaining racially...

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