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officials. Still more obviously, where the section speaks of persons going "in disguise on the highway . . . for the purpose of depriving . . . any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws," it certainly does not limit its reference to actions of that kind by state officials. When Congress, at this period, did intend to limit comparable civil rights legislation to action under color of state law, it said so in unmistakable terms. In fact, R. S. § 1980 (3) originally was § 2 of the Act of April 20, 1871, and § 1 of that same Act said "That any person who, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State, shall subject. any person within the jurisdiction of the United States to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution of the United States, shall .. be liable to the party injured (Emphasis added.)


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17 Stat. 13.

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Congress certainly has the power to create a federal cause of action in favor of persons injured by private individuals through the abridgment of federally created constitutional rights. It seems to me that Congress has done just this in R. S. § 1980 (3). This is not inconsistent with the principle underlying the Fourteenth Amendment. That amendment prohibits the respective states from making laws abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States or denying to any person within the jurisdiction of a state the equal protection of the laws. Cases holding that those clauses are directed only at state action are not authority for the contention that Congress may not pass laws supporting rights which exist apart from the Fourteenth Amendment.

Accordingly, I would affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.


(349 U.S. 294 (1954))


Reargued on the question of relief April 11-14, 1955.-Opinion and judgments announced May 31, 1955.

1. Racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional, 347 U. S. 483, 497, and all provisions of federal, state or local law requiring or permitting such discrimination must yield to this principle. P. 298.

2. The judgments below (except that in the Delaware case) are reversed and the cases are remanded to the District Courts to take such proceedings and enter such orders and decrees consistent with this opinion as are necessary and proper to admit the parties to these cases to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed. P. 301.

(a) School authorities have the primary responsibility for elucidating, assessing and solving the varied local school problems which may require solution in fully implementing the governing constitutional principles. P. 299.

(b) Courts will have to consider whether the action of school authorities constitutes good faith implementation of the governing constitutional principles. P. 299.

(c) Because of their proximity to local conditions and the possible need for further hearings, the courts which originally heard these cases can best perform this judicial appraisal. P. 299.

(d) In fashioning and effectuating the decrees, the courts will be guided by equitable principles-characterized by a practical flexibility in shaping remedies and a facility for adjusting and reconciling public and private needs. P.300.

*Together with No. 2, Briggs et al. v. Elliott et al., on appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina; No. 3, Davis et al. v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia, et al., on appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; No. 4, Bolling et al. v. Sharpe et al., on certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and No. 5, Gebhart et al. v. Belton et al., on certiorari to the Supreme Court of Delaware.

James No. 4

On Jack C L. Re Scott,

Georg Const Pollak and 3 James

(e) At stake is the personal interest of the plaintiffs in admisur

Rot to public schools as soon as practicable on a nondiscriminater

No. 1 basis. P. 300.

(f) Co.sts of equity may properly take into account the puble for ap interest in the elimination in a systematic and effective manne of a variety of obstacles in making the transition to school system operated in accordance with the constitutional 1.rinciples enune:

ents i ated in 347 U. S. 483, 497; but the vitality of these constitutional

appel principles cannot be allowed to yield simply because of disagret ment with them. P. 300.

respor (g) While giving weight to these public and private considerations, the courts will require that the defendants make a prompt and reasonable start toward full compliance with the ruling of this Court. P. 300.

(h) Once such a start has been made, the courts may find that additional time is necessary to carry out the ruling in an effective manner. P. 300.

(i) The burden rests on the defendants to establish that additional time is necessary in the public interest and is consistent with good faith compliance at the earliest practicable date. P. 300.

(j) The courts may consider problems related to administration, arising from the physical condition of the school plant, the school transportation system, personnel, revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis, and revision of local laws and regulations which may be necessary in solving the foregoing problems. Pp. 300-301.

(k) The courts will also consider the adequacy of any plans the defendants may propose to meet these problems and to effectuate a transition to a racially nondiscriminatory school system. P. 301.

(1) During the period of transition, the courts will retain jurisdiction of these cases. P. 301. 3. The judgment in the Delaware case, ordering the immediate admis

sion of the plaintiffs to schools previously attended only by white children, is affirmed on the basis of the principles stated by this Court in its opinion, 347 U. S. 483; but the case is remanded to the Supreme Court of Delaware for such further proceedings as

that Court may deem necessary in the light of this opinion. P. 301. 98 F. Supp. 797, 103 F. Supp. 920, 103 F. Supp. 337 and judgment

in No. 4, reversed and remanded. 91 A. 2d 137, affirmed and remanded.


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Robert L. Carter argued the cause for appellants in No. 1. Spottswood W. Robinson, III, argued the causes for appellants in Nos. 2 and 3. George E. C. Hayes and James M. Nabrit, Jr. argued the cause for petitioners in No. 4. Louis L. Redding argued the cause for respondents in No. 5. Thurgood Marshall argued the causes for appellants in Nos. 1, 2 and 3, petitioners in No. 4 and respondents in No. 5.

On the briefs were Harold Boulware, Robert L. Carter, Jack Greenberg, Oliver W. Hill, Thurgood Marshall, Louis L. Redding, Spottswood W. Robinson, III, Charles S. Scott, William T. Coleman, Jr., Charles T. Duncan, George E. C. Hayes, Loren Miller, William R. Ming, Jr., Constance Baker Motley, James M. Nabrit, Jr., Louis H. Pollak and Frank D. Reeves for appellants in Nos. 1, 2 and 3, and respondents in No: 5; and George E. C. Hayes, James M. Nabrit, Jr., George M. Johnson, Charles W. Quick, Herbert O. Reid, Thurgood Marshall and Robert L. Carter for petitioners in No. 4.

Harold R. Fatzer, Attorney General of Kansas, argued the cause for appellees in No. 1. With him on the brief was Paul E. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General. Peter F. Caldwell filed a brief for the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, appellee.

S. E. Rogers and Robert McC. Figg, Jr. argued the cause and filed a brief for appellees in No. 2.

J. Lindsay Almond, Jr., Attorney General of Virginia, and Archibald G. Robertson argued the cause for appellees in No. 3. With them on the brief were Henry T. Wickham, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, T. Justin Moore, John W. Riely and T. Justin Moore, Jr.

Milton D. Korman argued the cause for respondents in No. 4. With him on the brief were Vernon E. West, Chester H. Gray and Lyman J. Umstead.

Joseph Donald Craven, Attorney General of Delaware, argued the cause for petitioners in No. 5. On the brief were H. Albert Young, then Attorney General, Clarence W. Taylor, Deputy Attorney General, and Andrew D. Christie, Special Deputy to the Attorney General.

In response to the Court's invitation, 347 U. S. 483, 495– 496, Solicitor General Sobeloff participated in the oral argument for the United States. With him on the brief were Attorney General Brownell, Assistant Attorney General Rankin, Philip Elman, Ralph S. Spritzer and Alan S. Rosenthal.

By invitation of the Court, 347 U. S. 483, 496, the following State officials presented their views orally as amici curiae: Thomas J. Gentry, Attorney General of Arkansas, with whom on the brief were James L. Sloan, Assistant Attorney General, and Richard B. McCulloch, Special Assistant Attorney General. Richard W. Ervin, Attorney General of Florida, and Ralph E. Odum, Assistant Attorney General, both of whom were also on a brief. C. Ferdinand Sybert, Attorney General of Maryland, with whom on the brief were Edward D. E. Rollins, then Attorney General, W. Giles Parker, Assistant Attorney General, and James H. Norris, Jr., Special Assistant Attorney General. I. Beverly Lake, Assistant Attorney General of North Carolina, with whom on the brief were Harry McMullan, Attorney General, and T. Wade Bruton, Ralph Moody and Claude L. Love, Assistant Attorneys General. Mac Q. Williamson, Attorney General of Oklahoma, who also filed a brief. John Ben Shepperd, Attorney General of Texas, and Burnell Waldrep, Assistant Attorney General, with whom on the brief were Billy E. Lee, J. A. Amis, Jr., L. P. Lollar, J. Fred Jones, John Davenport, John Reeves and Will Davis.

Phineas Indritz filed a brief for the American Veterans Committee, Inc., as amicus curiae.

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