Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka And Marbury v. Madison

Powers of the Supreme Court in USA

In 1950s, many states in USA barred African American kids and white children from going to same schools, an act that was supported by the segregation laws.  An example was cited of Linda Brown, an African American girl who was not able to attend to a white school, located near her home in Topeka, Kan. This forced her to take a bus across town so as to join an African American school. With regard to many inconveniences caused by the segregation laws, Linda Brown’s father and other affected parents filed a suit against the Board of Education of Topeka City, at the United States Kansas District Courts. Their main argument was that, the act of separating schools was unconstitutional since it is a violation of equal protection of their children as provided by the Fourteenth Amendment (Vile, 2014). 

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However, the District Court ruled in favor of the Board of Education. Considering the District Court final judgments, the Brown case along with other four segregation cases was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, in which an NAACP attorney, Thurgood Marshall argued the case. The first argument was presented to the Supreme Court in 1952, but because it was full of many controversies and received oppositions from southern states, a final decision was not reached. The Supreme Court Chief Justice Vinson presiding over the case died during the Court’s recess and was replaced by Chief Justice Warren. The case was heard again in December 1953, and on May 17th 1954 it ruled that the segregation of schools was unconstitutional. The Court mentioned that the segregation was a violation of Equal Protection Section of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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Marbury v. Madison case is a landmark decision because it was the first Supreme Court case that applied the opinion of judicial review. The Supreme Court was also made a separate branch of government on parity with the Congress and the executive, through the contributions from the case (Douglas, 2003). It marked the beginning of the Court affirming its role in revising federal legislation to resolve its compatibility with the written constitution. It is from this decision that the Court was able to rule out that the segregation laws were unconstitutional.

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Brown v. Board of Education case was as a result of a consolidation of four other similar cases in different states about the segregation of public schools on the basis of race. Existing laws that allowed segregation of public schools denied African American children the right to join white schools that had better facilities (Schauer, 2006). The Supreme Court ruled that the separation of schools was not equality, and that the segregation laws were unconstitutional. The act also instilled a sense of inferiority which had detrimental effects on the personal growth and education of the African American minors.

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The significance of the Marbury v. Madison decision asserted the responsibility of the court to protect the rights of all individuals by reviewing the laws in the Constitution. With regard to this case, it is evident that the Board of Education had the right to initiate schools segregation since it was legal as per the provided segregation laws. However, African American children also had the right to access any educational facility they wished to attend, as provided by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. It is with this respect that the Court ruled out that the segregation laws were unconstitutional.

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