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Supreme Court in the Development of African-American Civil Rights

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How important was the Supreme Court in the development of African-American civil rights in the years 1950 to 1962?

The Supreme Court made a number of decisions regarding education in this time period, for example, in source C, The Supreme Court made a decision in 1950 in regards to McLaurin vs Oklahoma State Regents, when a negro student was denied permission for certain areas in a school, confined to their own tables and sections in the library and cafeteria. This shows that the Supreme Court could effectively interpret the constitution and federal laws. This decision is much like Sweatt vs Painter, Texas, where a similar situation had occurred, except a Negro student was not permitted admittance, let alone segregation inside the building. Also, in Cooper vs Aaron, the Supreme Court stated that states were bound by the court’s decisions, and could not ignore them.

Arkansas then amended the state constitution to oppose desegregation, and then relieved children from “Mandatory attendance in segregated schools. This shows that the Supreme Court was still applying law and constitution in the aid of the advancement of African Americans. In Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka, 1954, it came that Chief Just Warren said, “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal…. Segregation in public education is a denial of the equal protection of the laws.” This gives African Americans a platform to advance from, reaffirming “separate but equal” in their favour. The Supreme Court had overturned separate but equal, showing that they are perhaps, despite their best means to remain impartial, beginning to show signs of a will for desegregation and quality between races.

However, President Eisenhower was not pro-civil right, so progress across the board in regards to advancement of African-Americans was always slower than expected. The Supreme Court were ineffective without the president, who was needed to enforce decisions made by the Supreme Court, further delaying procedures.

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