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U.S. Courts Resources Recall Landmark Brown v. Board Decision

With May 17 approaching as the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the U.S. Courts website has resources to commemorate the landmark ruling that ended segregation in public education.

The decision's anniversary has been the focus of Law Day events around the country in May, and the Educational Resources section has three Brown-related classroom resources.

A theater-style reenactment enables students to read scripts representing nine key players in the legal fight against school segregation. These include Linda Brown, a Topeka, Kan., schoolgirl whose family sued to gain her admission to a previously all-White school; Thurgood Marshall, a future Supreme Court justice who represented the Browns; and Chief Justice Earl Warren, who wrote the unanimous 1954 Supreme Court decision, which ruled that segregated schools violated the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

A history of Brown v. Board of Education recounts how the segregation doctrine of “separate but equal” became the law of the land, and how the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People mounted a two-decade-long legal campaign that successfully challenged it. The Educational Resources section also has a profile of Justice Marshall, who as head of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund led numerous lawsuits against segregation.

Two other new features on the U.S. Courts site also focus on Brown v. Board of Education and its impact. A Third Branch News article describes a recent ceremony honoring the memory of J. Waties Waring, a federal judge in South Carolina who helped set the stage for Brown v. Board. Also, in a new Supreme Court Landmarks podcast, American University law professor Stephen Wermiel discusses Brown and its legacy.

Related Topics: Judicial History, Public Education