August 26, 2014

Their View | Legal discrimination alive and well in Pennsylvania

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The court overturned the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld that substantially equal facilities for races amounted to equal treatment. The Warren court found that the “separate but equal” doctrine, established in 1896, had no place in public education because separate facilities are inherently unequal. Furthermore, the court believed that “whatever may have been the extent of psychological knowledge at the time of Plessy v. Ferguson,” the holding of Brown v. Board was “amply supported by modern authority.” Thus, “separate but equal” was tossed into the ash heap of history and justifiably so.

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