Karr v. Schmidt

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMr. Justice BLACK
PartiesChesley KARR, a minor, individually, and John R. Karr, Individually and as next friend and Guardian ad litem on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, v. Clifford SCHMIDT, Principal of Coronado High School, et al. No. ____
Decision Date11 February 1971

401 U.S. 1201
91 S.Ct. 592
27 L.Ed.2d 797
Chesley KARR, a minor, individually, and John R. Karr, Individually and as next friend and Guardian ad litem on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,

v.

Clifford SCHMIDT, Principal of Coronado High School, et al.

No. ____.
Feb. 11, 1971.

Mr. Justice BLACK, Circuit Justice.

This 'Emergency Motion to Vacate a Stay of Injunction Pending Appeal' has been presented to me as the Supreme Court Justice assigned to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The motion concerns rules adopted by the school authorities of El Paso, Texas, providing that schoolboys' hair must not 'hang over the ears or the top of the collar of a standard dress shirt and must not obstruct vision.' The rules also provide that boys will not be admitted to or allowed to remain in school unless their hair meets this standard. The United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division, held after hearings that this local student hair length rule violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and enjoined its enforcement, declining to suspend its injunction pending appeal. On motion of the school authorities, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stayed and suspended the District Court's

Page 1202

injunction and the student appellees have asked me to vacate the Court of Appeals' stay of the injunction. Should I vacate the stay the El Paso school authorities would remain subject to the District Court's injunction and would thereby be forbidden to enforce their local rule requiring public school students not to wear hair hanging over their collars or obstructing their vision.

I refuse to hold for myself that the federal courts have constitutional power to interfere in this way with the public school system operated by the States. And I furthermore refuse to predict that our Court will hold they have such power. It is true that we have held that this Court does have power under the Fourteenth Amendment to bar state public schools from discriminating against Negro students on account of their race but we did so by virtue of a direct, positive command in the Fourteenth Amendment, which, like the other Civil War Amendments, was primarily designed to outlaw racial discrimination by the States. There is no such direct, positive command about local school rules with reference to the length of hair state school students...

To continue reading

Request your trial
41 practice notes
  • Stull v. School Board of Western Beaver Jr.-Sr. HS, No. 71-1674.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • April 13, 1972
    ...hair cases is the threshold question whether the federal courts even have the power to adjudicate the issue. See, e. g., Karr v. Schmidt, 401 U.S. 1201, 91 S.Ct. 592, 27 L.Ed.2d 797 (1971), opinion of Justice Black; Freeman v. Flake, 448 F.2d 258 (10th Cir. 1971); Zeller v. Donegal School D......
  • Rumler v. BOARD OF SCH. TR. FOR LEXINGTON CTY. DIST. NO. 1 SCHOOLS, Civ. A. No. 70-1080.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • May 17, 1971
    ...involved. This is difficult in the light of the admonitions of Mr. Justice Black in Karr v. Schmidt, Principal of Coronado High School, 401 U.S. 1201, 91 S.Ct. 592, 27 L.Ed.2d 797, published February 11, 1971, by the Supreme Court of the United I refuse to hold for myself that the federal c......
  • Karr v. Schmidt, No. 31045.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • April 28, 1972
    ...capacity as Circuit Justice for the Fifth Circuit to vacate the stay of injunction pending appeal. Mr. Justice Black denied the petition, 401 U.S. 1201, 91 S.Ct. 592, 27 L.Ed.2d 797, There is no * * * direct, positive command about local school rules with reference to the length of hair sta......
  • Montalvo v. Madera Unified Sch. Dist. Bd. of Education
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 17, 1971
    ...the same effect concerning the involvement of the federal courts in student hair style cases in Karr v. Schmidt (Feb. 1971) 401 U.S. 120, 91 S.Ct. 592, 27 L.Ed.2d...
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Stull v. School Board of Western Beaver Jr.-Sr. HS, No. 71-1674.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit
    • April 13, 1972
    ...hair cases is the threshold question whether the federal courts even have the power to adjudicate the issue. See, e. g., Karr v. Schmidt, 401 U.S. 1201, 91 S.Ct. 592, 27 L.Ed.2d 797 (1971), opinion of Justice Black; Freeman v. Flake, 448 F.2d 258 (10th Cir. 1971); Zeller v. Donegal School D......
  • Rumler v. BOARD OF SCH. TR. FOR LEXINGTON CTY. DIST. NO. 1 SCHOOLS, Civ. A. No. 70-1080.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • May 17, 1971
    ...involved. This is difficult in the light of the admonitions of Mr. Justice Black in Karr v. Schmidt, Principal of Coronado High School, 401 U.S. 1201, 91 S.Ct. 592, 27 L.Ed.2d 797, published February 11, 1971, by the Supreme Court of the United I refuse to hold for myself that the federal c......
  • Karr v. Schmidt, No. 31045.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • April 28, 1972
    ...capacity as Circuit Justice for the Fifth Circuit to vacate the stay of injunction pending appeal. Mr. Justice Black denied the petition, 401 U.S. 1201, 91 S.Ct. 592, 27 L.Ed.2d 797, There is no * * * direct, positive command about local school rules with reference to the length of hair sta......
  • Montalvo v. Madera Unified Sch. Dist. Bd. of Education
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • November 17, 1971
    ...the same effect concerning the involvement of the federal courts in student hair style cases in Karr v. Schmidt (Feb. 1971) 401 U.S. 120, 91 S.Ct. 592, 27 L.Ed.2d...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT