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Facts of the Case. In the fall of 1950 Herman Marion Sweatt tried to enroll in the state-supported University of Texas law school. Sweatt was denied admission solely because he was a Negro and state law forbids the admission of Negro's to that law school. He then was offered but denied enrollment in a separate law school established by the state of Negro's. The University of Texas law school contained sixteen full time professors, three part time, eight hundred fifty students and many distinguished alumni and traditions. The separate law school for Negro's contained five full time professors, twenty- three students, and one alumnus admitted to the Texas bar. Sweatt sought legal advice through W.J. Durham and Thurgood Marshall, who worked for the legal council of the National Association for Advancement of colored people. The argument behind the respondents was that attending the Negro law school fulfilled the "separate but equal" clause of Plessy v. Ferguson which had been established back in 1938 in Gaines v. Canada requiring a law school within state borders for Negro's. The argument then began on April 4th of the year 1950.
The Law. The fourteenth amendment and the equal protection clause.
1. Was there a violation of equal protection? Yes.
2. Does this case overturn the Plessy v. Ferguson decision? No.
3. Does the Sweatt case show that " separate but equal" cannot exist as a law? Yes.
Opinion of the court ( Vinson). In a unanimous decision on June 5, 1950 the Supreme Court held that the equal protection clause required that Sweatt be admitted to the University of Texas Law School because the school for Negro's did not offer equal facilities. This entitled Sweatt equal protection under the law and helped to answer the question of what extent does the equal protection clause limit the power of a state to identify between students of different races in a state university.
Concurring opinion. None.
Dissenting Opinion. None.
Evaluation. In this particular case, the justices continued to follow the trend of other cases that questioned the equal protection clause before it. The court admitted Sweatt to the University of Texas law school because of unequal opportunities in the Negro facility. This case drew closer to ridding the nation of " separate but equal,"sated in the 14th amendment.
There were several cases that led the Supreme Court justices to making their decision in Sweatt v.
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