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tv   Supreme Court Landmark Case Brown v. Board of Education  CSPAN  August 9, 2017 11:10am-12:47pm EDT

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>> thanks again to paul engelmayer for a spectacular job. [ applause ] >> and to a spectacular panel. your words will live on with us in our learning center. and we're so grateful to you for these reminiscences as you sit at the bench where thurgood marshall sat. tonight we'll look at mapp versus ohio. the supreme court found evidence cannot be used in criminal prosecutions if it's found in violation of the fourth amendment on search and seizure. that's tonight on c-span3 at 3:00 p.m. eastern. landmark cases returns live
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next february on c-span. join us to hear more stories on people who sparked groundbreaking cases and justices and lawyers who were key to the supreme court review. all persons having business before the honorable, the supreme court of the united states, fiv an ear the their attention. >> landmark cases, c-span special series in cooperation with the center. exploring human stories behind 12 supreme court decisions. >> number 759, petitioner versus arizona. >> we hear arguments number 18, roe against wade. >> many times the courts took the ones that were quite unpopular. >> let's go through a few cases
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that illustrate very dramatically and visually what it means to live in a society of 310 million different people who helped stick together because they believed in a rule of law. good evening and welcome to landmark cases. we're about two-thirds of the way through our cases look at supreme court decisions. tonight the 1954 case of school segregation brown v. board of education. and we're going to begin this evening by listening to linda brown on the roots of this case. >> my memory of brown began in the fall of 1950. in the quiet kansas town of topeka where a mild-mannered black man took his plump 7-year-old daughter by the hand and walked briskly four blocks from their home to the all white
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school and tried without success to enroll his child. that, parents in topeka thought trying to enroll the student in the school nearest to their home, was long overdue. many were the evenings my father would arrive home to find my mother upset because i had to take a walk just like she did many years before and catch a school bus and be bussed some two miles across town. i can remember that walk. i could only make half of it some days because the cold would get too bitter for a small child to bear. i can still remember taking that bitter walk and the terrible cold that would cause the tears to freeze upon my face. >> that was linda brown talking
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about her experience as a school child in topeka, kansas and how her story led her to the supreme court and one of its landmark decisions. tonight, for the next 90 minutes, we'll learn more about that case, how it came to the court and what its implications are. and let me introduce you to the two guests at the table that will help us do that. tameka brown from harvard university where she teaches constitutional law and history. she's the author of "courage to dissent." atlanta and the long history of the civil rights movement. thank you. >> thank you. >> and jeffrey rosen is at the table tonight. constitution center in philadelphia, which he is the president and ceo of has been our partner for the entire series, and he's the author of numerous books on the supreme court including "supreme court: personalities and rivalries that defined america." it's nice to have you at the table finally. >> congratulations on this great series. it's really a thrill. >> thank you. and for all of your help, as well. as we get started here, let's talk very big picture and on the issue in this case. what was really the heart of what was decided here?
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>> well, the supreme court in this case considered the question of whether state mandated segregation in schools was constitutional under the 14th amendment. and, thus, it was an opportunity for the court to reconsider plessy versus ferguson, which was the 1896 case in which it had found that segregation on rail cars was within the constitution. >> and, jeff rosen, why did this become a landmark decision? >> because by overturning plessy as tameka so well said, the court faced disdain of this decision and fulfilled the promise of the reconstruction amendments. and the 14th amendment passed after the civil war, which turns 150 next year was designed to ensure equality of civil rights. and justice harlan thought it was obvious that a fundamental right like the right to travel on railroads was a fundamental civil right. but the basic insight that the court finally recognized was
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that separate but equal is inherently unequal and to separate people because of their race is stigmatizing and degrading. the fact that it took, we know, almost 100 years to recognize what was obvious to anyone in the south as justice harlan said in plessy, justice harlan said, everyone knows that the purpose of segregation was to degrade african-americans, and the fact that it took so long for the court and the country to recognize that is what made brown such a landmark in the 20th century. >> it's known as brown. but one of those little factoids of people who are learning about this along with us would be surprised, perhaps, that brown isn't one case, but it's really five cases. explain how that works, the consolidation. >> there were a bunch of them. i have to have my cheat sheet to get them out because they're not well known today. but one of them involved the d.c. government, involving weather the federal government as well as states could have separate schools.
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and to decide that case, it was called bowling versus sharp. the court couldn't use the equal protection clause because that ed on binds the states. instead, they have to use and i'm waiting for my chance to bring out the pocket constitution had to use the fifth amendment to the constitution, which prevents congress from depriving any person of due process of law. and the court read into that clause. an equal protection component. it's a technical doctrine called reverse incorporation. but basically, they said it would be unthinkable that if the states can't discriminate, then d.c. can. but there were a bunch of other really, really interesting cases including one that was prompted by protests, by the plaintiffs. here they are. the only win for the naacp was a case called gephart out of delaware. at that time the court ordered that african-americans be
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admitted to the segregated schools. the davis decision came out of virginia, which challenged segregation in prince edwards county. and finally, there was a case called briggs versus eliot from south carolina, which was the first of the cases. but it was -- there were human stories behind each of those cases, and it's almost a coincidence that linda brown who so movingly spoke became the face of all five cases. >> how does the court decide to enjoin cases like this into one specific case and give it that case's title? >> well, i think that in the circumstance, it consolidated these cases because they raised the same issue with the exception of bolling versus sharp, which is what jeff spoke about. they were consolidated for convenience, and because it made sense to consolidate them and consider this issue as it was raised in these several states. the naacp strategy involved filing cases in the states where the issues were most stark as to the reality that they were able to show in brown, and that was that separate was never truly equal. that is what the court decided.
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that justice brown's decision in plessy where he said that if there is a harm of separation of segregation, it's only because blacks are putting that construction on it. in brown, the court rightly recognized that really the problem with segregation and schools inted grags, generally the court went on to stipulate was that it was a stigma. it was a sign that blacks were considered inferior. >> one of the things that has made the whole series work for us is your participation. and there are several ways to do that. you can phone us. and we'll go to calls in about another 20 minutes. here are the phone numbers. 202-7400 -- and if you live in the eastern or central time zones and if you begin dialing now, you can get into the queue.
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202-748-8901. please be careful dialing those numbers, as well. mountain and pacific time zones. if you send a tweet, make sure you use the #landmarkcases. we'll see it in the twitter stream here and we'll mix your comments in. and, finally, there's a discussion already under way on our facebook page. c-span is a facebook site. and we have this video you just saw posted and comments coming in underneath of that. you can be part of that discussion, as well. and we look forward to hearing what you have to say about this case and to hear your questions. we're going to spend more time on the history that goes into this case. i do want to learn a little bit more about plessy versus ferguson, 1896. and you mentioned it was a transportation case. >> it was. and this was a time when jim crow was not yet up and running. so a law requiring segregation was not welcome universally by railroads themselves. it was challenged as a violation of equal protection clause and as tameka wells said, justice brown held for the court, as long as the cars are equal,
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there's no problem because the facilities is all the constitution requires and any impewation of inferiority is the problem of african-americans. justice john marshall harlan wrote one of the greatest dissents of the 19th century. this is a kentucky former slave state. he's a know-nothing turned abolitionist. he's the one writing the decision -- descending from the court's decision, his wife puts the pen. he suddenly has writer's block and the words flow. this is one of the great defenders of the promise. and in his spectacular dissent, he basically says that everyone knows that the real purpose of the separation was not for the convenience of both parties but to degrade and stigmatize african-americans.
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there's an odd preface to his decision which is jar. he said the white race at the moment is pre-eminent. so it will continue to be if it maintains its traditions, but in respect to civil rights, the constitutions color blind. he was continuing this distinction that lincoln other, you know, reconstruction people at the time maintain between civil and social rights. he was saying you have to give civil rights to everyone but we're not mandating social e qualities. >> i think that's right. it's almost as if what justice harlan's saying is that it's overkill to dirty up the constitution with these kinds of racial classifications.
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he -- you can read the preface to that wonderful part of his opinion where he says the constitution is colorblind as in a way saying that because of social conditions, it's not necessary really to stipulate in the law to have our constitution besmirched by this practice of segregation. >> so, question -- >> this is so important and interesting. the big, this descent is so important that thurgood marshal leaves it before he argues -- so he's inspired by harlan's dissent. the huge question is whether when harlan said the constitution is colorblind, did he mean all racial implications are permissible, or was he saying something with respect to civil rights that constitution
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can't have classifications. is he saying no classifications or only classifications that affirm a cast system? and this is a big debate over affirmative action. >> that actually gives rise to the next question which is the legacy of that decision. ite soes hard to compress the next 50 years into a couple of sentences, but we must for the sake of time. the ferguson case give rise to the jim crow laws or would they have happened anyway? >> you know, that's a hard question, but it's probable after the compromise of 1876 when the republican party exchanged for in winning this contested election got out of the business of reconstruction would not have had the force of will to resist jim crow as it arose. i'd be very interesting -- if
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tameka disagrees, i would say the ferguson case caused jim crow, but it didn't come out in other ways to stop it. >> i think that's right. i would not subscribe to the supreme court that kind of power at that time. it was pretty late in the day the politics of situation that jeff described is important but it nevertheless is an important indication from the court and -- an indication from the court to which there was no great outcry in the public, thus suggesting that by this time, there had been a consensus reached that the south would do what the south would do in terms of race relations. >> so i need to fast forward to 1940s america where things are actually beginning to move in a more positive direction, notably the effect of the war and the contributions that african-americans made during the war. in 1947 there was a desegregation -- '48 rather --
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the desegregation of the armed forces, in the sports world, jackie robinson integrated baseball in 1947. so how did thing start to shift in the late 1940s? >> well, you put your finger on something that is really important and that is in terms of the impact on the war. the fact that african-americans served in the war and then coming home in this country and being mistreated, including because of the segregation laws. being mistreated by virtue of the law but also experiencing terrible incidents of violence. and the juxtaposition of the soldiers having fought hitler and his creed with their treatment here in this country where they felt as if they were experiencing the same kind of ideology in this country was enough to make the soldiers vital in the struggle for civil rights. other things that were happening were that african-americans had
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migrated in substantial numbers to the north, which meant they were a force in politics, which was important to changing a sense of where african-americans belong in society. you mentioned the movements in sports, which was very important, all of which was to say that african-americans were gaining stature and they also were beginning more so than ever to think in terms of resisting these jim crow laws. >> so thurgood marshall is going to become an important player in this case. later on in his life he becomes the first african-american appointed to the supreme court. in 1940, what was he doing? >> he had founded the naacp, legal defense and educational fund in order to launch a legal campaign against segregation. and he does so with a strategic brilliance that has come to be
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seen as decisive in the brown victory. he looks at public opinion. he sees the forces as tameka so well described. he knows the presidency is turning against segregation because of the cold war. and it's really bad, the russians are saying look at these hypocritical americans who are segregated, and the truman deseg a greats the military, and truman and eisenhower are both supporting desegregation. it's looked at as a whole and saying it's still the desegregation in schools. he wants to start smaller first by attacking desegregation in law school admissions and graduate school admissions. and then after having won those victories, attacking schools. he doesn't initially argue the plessy versus ferguson should be overturned. instead he attacked unequal
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stilts in the texas swept versus painter where he said you're not providing education to african-americans. he -- a graduate student is literally demeaned by having to sit separately in the school, he is humiliated, and that is clearly unequal. after having established those two precedents, finally there's the big debate the ferguson should be overturned and the public schools should be attacked. >> let's take a look at this map and show you what the public school system looked like in terms of segregation in the early 1950s. look on the screen in the reddish pink areas. segregation in those states were required. the blue states, no segregation laws. and the green states in the
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northeast and midwest, segregation was strictly prohibited. that was the situation going into this defense of -- by thurgood marshal of using the legal system to approach segregation in schools. that's really at the heart of this case. we're going to listen to thurgood marshall next, talking about the legal system and his thoughts on how to use the courts to address this problem in america. >> what's important to me is important the law and determine the condition of the negro. 4 he was emancipated by law and then disfranchised and segregated by law. i submit the history of the negro in this country demonstrates the importance of getting rid of hostile laws and seeking the security of new friendly laws, federal, state and local. >> other civil rights activists would chose different methods to make the case. thurgood marshall chose the law.
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can you talk more about that? >> sure. well, as jeff said, the strategy that was implemented by thurgood marshall and houston, it was gradual and brilliant ultimately. it also was daring and risky in the minds of others at that time who were equally committed to black freedom. people like a. phillip randolph, ralph bunch, robert baldwin at the aclu, were skeptical of using the courts and the law to achieve emancipation, social change for african-americans. partly this was because people like adolf randolph were interested in an interracial movement. those were other people who thought the courts were only as good as the personnel on the court and it would be expected that the judges
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would reflect the racial attitudes of the majority of the population. therefore, why think the court would be a good venue for vindicating african-american rights. and then there were those who said that even if thurgood marshall and the fund were able to prevail -- excuse me. segregation could continue, notwithstanding the change in the law, which is perhaps the most profound criticism that could be made. and i have to say that all of those critics were on to something, and that's really the difference between constructional law in theory and on the books and on the ground. ultimately all of these people were saying that individuals are the face of the law that people experience on an everyday basis, and they were skeptical that individuals would really come through in a way that marshall imagined. >> next we'll learn how the story of the brown family made its way to a federal case. but before we do that, let's
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start mixing in your comments. first for jeff rosen, kathy on twitter. did brown overrule ferguson. >> brown did overall ferguson. it was applied to school and in subsequent cases the court applied it to desegregate swimming pools and other public facilities and so forth. the main question was should the case be overturned and brown be overturned. >> i will say what i think caller may be getting at is the way in which the opinion was written and the fact that in the opinion, justice warren writing for the court used language saying to the extent that there's anything in plessy inconsistent with what we're saying, then we pull back from the principle of plessy.
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so it wasn't that kind of robust language over ruling that you might see in some other cases, and i think that was by design. it was a strategy for the court to try to be a consensus court. >> and there was another -- that's exactly right. there were other parts of the opinion that by failing clearly to say, segregation was wrong at the time of that case and it's wrong now because it's stigmatizing and degrading, gave critics of brown the chance to resist it. first warren says whatever may have been the state of public education at the time of the 14th amendment now it's really important and it has to be given to everyone on equal terms. there was the famous footnote 11 in which the court coming off of some -- in the trial court cited the famous doll studies that of kenneth clark that had found that african-american children had lower self-esteem and were more likely to choose white
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dolls than african-american dolls, and this lead people who were resisting the decision to say that it was based on bad social science. i think tameka's right, the clearing overturning of police set made it hard to resist brown. the the court was wrong to rely on sociological evidence, the court would preferred the purpose of segregation is to degrade and therefore it's overturned. >> roberto is watching us from berrien springs, michigan. and you're on. >> caller: good evening. i'm calling from ann arbor, michigan. >> oh, okay. >> caller: i'm enjoying this
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thoroughly. getting to my questions, my first question is did the framers believe that segregation was a violation of equal protection of laws given the fact that the nation's capital was segregated? and with this in mind, could the brown decision have been made using a religious interpretation. and the final question is when the fifth amendment was passed, there was no equal protection law. so in the bowling versus sharp case be decided in using the interpretation? >> it was a great question. so read michael mcconnell's great article, "originalism in the desegregation decisions." it's in the virginia law review and it's the best time to treat an original defense of brown. here's what we know, there were knows in congress in 1868 and john big gum was among them, who thought basic civil rights had to be amongst them all. at same time he commissioned his law clerk alexander bickell to
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write a long study, and it's clear people in 1968 who opposed the amendment did not think schools ought to be desegrega d desegregated. people stood up and opposed the amendment and said, don't worry this isn't going to apply to school. in order to say the schools are covered you really have to move around to 1875 when the congress was more liberal. this is a problem for originali originalists. brown is hard to justify over original interpretation and no current justice as done a great job in deciding why it is. >> i'm going to stop there. we'll get back to that later in the program. fulton is watching us from silver springs, maryland. you're on. >> caller: yes, my -- >> we're listening. >> caller: -- comment is, do you think that after hundreds of years of segregation and the
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impalk packet on black families that they had in the past there some type of rep perspirations to the justice system for black american families? >> thank you. >> well, that question has been debated by a lot of people, and i think that there are certainly the arguments to that effect. the -- i think most people come to the conclusion that there are two problems, one of which is politics and the other of which is a concern about how one would actually assess the damages. if one could convince the right people that reparations were appropriate, how would one actually go about figuring out what was owed. now, one might say, that well, just give it a shot. but, you know, it's a question
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that's been debated a lot. but really the problem is a political problem. >> and next is robert, frostburg, maryland. hi, robert. >> caller: good evening, ladies and gentlemen. how are you doing. yes, ma'am. i'm a vietnam veteran. and one of the things that have just devastated to me, is first of all democracy has never lost anywhere on earth and it's been respect everywhere. in pure colonial supremacy and racism -- was driven all over the world just driven out of their lives because it's so intolerable to people. i fought in a war where we were driven out that colonial mentality castration. here we talk about brown versus topeka, kansas, and the education system. i mean it is still unsane that
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we hold onto these stupid prejudices. we had a civil war over this insanity, and yet my country with all the beautiful presidents that it has and people learn to respect all over the world, yet we keep on holding onto what was driven out all over the world weather it was armed revolution. people are tied of that can't racism. they're tired of it every where on earth. thank you. >> well, first i will say thank you for your service. the second thing i will say is that you make a fantastic point which is that the u.s. has been able to export democracy to many places and there are many nations that look up to our system, for our constitutional system, and yet it is true i would say there is still a kasim in many instances between what i
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call before law on the books and our aspirations as country and as a people in everyday practice. and partly that's reflection of the fact of something that i said before and something that frankly the court was concerned about at various times, and that is the ability of law to change people's hearts or everyday practices. in order for there to be social change in the way -- in race relations -- in a way that you aspire to rightly, it really has to occur not only institutionally but interpersonally. >> so i want to show a piece of video next. this was used in one of the lower court cases in davis versus county school board here in the county of virginia. and it's interesting because the documents, the difference
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between white and black schools in virginia, both sides plaintiff and defendants use these pictures stating they've supported their positions. let's watch. >> these photographs are exhibits in the court case dorothy davis versus school board county. the dorothy case was wrapped into the brown case before the supreme court. what we're looking at here are the exteriors of the schools. here's a white school at prince edward county in virginia. notice the bricks, two-story structure in a neighborhood, landscaping, and sidewalks. while here we have several buildings that come pose a school, some which are bricks, tar paper, and a rural setting. now we move inside to the classrooms.
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here we have an exciting school. notice the students seem comfortable. while we take a look at african-american school, children are wearing coats, there's a very large heater mt. middle of the room showing us how cold it was in the room. moving on to different parts of the building, her we have a home ek class in a white school. notice the appliances are relatively new and modern. while in the african-american schools it's a much different story. it's in a basement, the materials are much older, and also you can tell mu more worn. these exhibits were submitted by both the plaintiffs and defendants to show on the plaintiff's side these facilities were unequal, whereas on the defendant side they wanted to show these facilities were just about equalism. >> so as we're looking at those, we have to talk about one of those cases, the brown versus board of education of topeka made its way into the federal courts.
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first of all, is the brown that we saw in this case the linda brown we saw earlier? >> it is linda brown, and she was the daughter of oliver brown who was -- he was a -- he was in tope topeka, and he was a welder in the shops of the santa fe railroads. >> he was also a part-time preacher. in some pictures he chose to wear his collar which as a dimension no into this case. >> he was brought into this case he didn't seek them out. the reason the naacp and thurgood marshall chose the brown case and not another case was to avoid that the schools weren't equal. that's why he picked a school where there was no allegation of separate but adequately facilities. he was stressing the fact that linda brown as she said in that incredibly moving introduction, did you hear her say her tears froze while walking to school. the fact she had to walk to a bus to take a ride to another
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school, sumner elementary which was several blocks from her house which she could have walked directly to. to her and her father was an indignity and outrage that was self-evident and didn't rely on whether the facilities were equal or not. >> the arguments before the court, naacp was represented by jeff carter, arguing for the school board, lester roe dell. and testifies a three panel that walter huksman, arthur mel it and delllus hill and walter huksman wrote that opinion. can you tell us anything about that opinion we should know about for this story? >> well, the important as spoefgt that opinion, i would say, is that although the judges rejected the application of
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sweats and mclaren, which were two cases where the naacp had prevailed, it did include a finding of fact indicating that segregation of schools was harmful, which was incredible. for the naacp it's precisely the issue that was so controversial before the supreme court. so it was a decision that on the mi mirts merits was as verse to naacp, but to that finding of fact there was a nugget in there that was helpful. >> so, jeff rosen, could you explain how these cases made it to the supreme court? were the justices looking for a case to disease this?
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what was the process where these cases were picked and the courts agreed to hear them? >> i don't know that the justices were looking for it but there was a disagreement among the lower courts which increases the possibility the court will take the case. i think to a certain extent the court felt that it couldn't avoid it, but then something very dramatic happened. u don't know if this is the time to tell the story. >> probably not. >> okay. >> i want to keep. >> let's take two more calls, and then we're going to take a look at what the supreme court look liked in 1952 because, in fact, this case was heard twice by two different courts, and we'll talk about the drama that caused that court to be different the second time around.
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gary is in tampa, florida. hi, you're on the air. welcome to the program. >> caller: thank you. while i'm aware there were impeachment warning scenes on southern highways, what i'm curious about was brown versus board of education, an issue saying the 1956 presidential campaign or 1960, 1964, 1968, et cetera, i don't remember reading about if there was a specific issue raised in any debates, and i'm curious to hear some feedback. >> well, i don't know that i can talk about presidential debates in brown versus board of education, but i can say that it was made a highly contestable issue in politics, certainly in the south where there was deep resistance to brown.
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so if it wasn't debated in formal terms, it was certainly something that was talked about or was a focus of -- he was a person from which one wanted to pound the flesh right, he was the representations of brown and the court in the sense that the court had been activists in a way that it had never been before. so, i think it's clear that brown was an issue in politics generally. i'm sure that at various moments, it was an issue in presidential politics. certainly it became an issue in presidential politics during the nixon campaigns, and later on after the court had actually started to enforce the decision. >> josh in ail bona, iowa. welcome to c-span. >> caller: i want to say quickly that c-span will expand on their cases and do of 12 historic cases. my question was that justice hugo black who had been a member
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of the kkk and also the majorial opinion of dematsu to redeem himself by voting to end school segregation? >> such a great question. soon he's appointed, it's reported he was in the clan. there's an outcry. he gives a radio address and on youtube, he stands before the mikes and said, i did join the clan, i therefore resign. i never rejoin. this is all i have to say about the matter and everyone does, bravo, justice black. and you answered all four questions. and then he was gone but in fact, the outcry which led to protests around his house must have made a deep impression on him because he joined path breaking opinions recognizing racial equality and criminal procedure cases and he's the one southerner in the initial vote and tell the story in just a little bit and very keen to vote to strike down segregation and some speculate it was, in fact, to redeem his plan.
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membership, the only southerner who says that the conference, there's going to be blood and people are going to die. and we should announce a clear rule and get out of here because the court cannot solve this. so he really is bringing this political wisdom to bear. one final story that's interesting. walter, a former solicitor general was with hugo black and at one point, he asked the justice, you know, so justice black, why did you join the clan? there's this silence among the others, they can't believe it. they asked him and said, son, if you were running for a senate in alabama in the 1920s, you would join the clan too. that was his excuse. but i think he felt the need to redeem himself and perhaps, he did some of that with brown. >> the questions into the segue. a great discussion of what the port looked like in 1952. the chief justice was fred vincent and if you watched our series last week you'll remember
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he was an appointee and in some cases, described as a true crony and he was joined on the court by justices hugo black and tom clark, william o. douglas and robert jackson and sherman and stanley reade. and last week, we heard that vincent did not do a very effective job to bring coalitions together for the divided court. in 1952, still very divided and was he having a difficult time bringing together two groups within the court that really didn't see eye to eye? >> well, i think that the basic problem with vincent is that his colleagues were not respecting him very much. and thus, he did not have the institutional authority necessary to try to bring the justices together is what i would say. the vision that i think is most important to perhaps talk about is the rivalry between jackson
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and frankfurter on the one hand and hugo black and douglas on the other. and what that represented in terms of how the justices thought about the constitution. i'm sure jeffrey will have things to say about this, but the thing to say about the first combination is that there was a belief in judicial restraint. and a concern about the justices issuing holdings that were legal holdings and not political. so a lot of concern about how to actually deal with the president that was on the books for a very long time and justice jackson and justice frankfurter were concerned about how to justify decision to overhaul plessy? >> can i pick up on that?
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so well describes the visitors on the court and they become manifest in the first conference over brown. so the colleagues don't respect vincent. frankfurter at withone point threatened to punch frankfurter in the nose because he was a hard professor always condescending him and treating him like a poker buddy and didn't respect him. and something like four votes to strike down segregation and black, douglas, and burton. three votes possibly to uphold it. vincent from kentucky. reid from kentucky and tom clark from texas. and two who seem undecided. frankfurter and jackson, who for the reasons tameka said, are in favor of judicial restraint and don't like segregation. new deal democrats but don't think the court should be stepping in here. the initial vote is taken and it looks like segregation is going to win and then all of the sunday before the court can decide the case, vincent drops
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dead of a heart attack. on the funeral train, on the way home from the funeral, felix frankfurter says to colleagues, this is the first indication i have had that there is a god. but then the court argues the case and wait to hear what happens the second time around. >> first, i want to get the attorneys on the docket for our viewers because there's a familiar name. the defended attorneys include john davis, who has been in now three of our landmark cases, who was john davis and why was he at the helm in so many of these important cases? >> he was the presidential candidate, unsuccessful presidential candidate turned one of the great appellate lawyers of his age. courtly, silver haired, fit. you could call him a strict constructionist. he definitely said, i don't believe in a living constitution, although i think the constitution can occasionally adopt as the
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commerce clause shows but feels like he was defending southern traditions and for him, this is an easy case. look, the courts repeatedly affirmed segregation and the text doesn't forbid this segregation, the original understanding clearly allowed segregated schools and thought he was going to win easily and for him, he so invested in this case. and after the oral argument, this is in richard kluger's great book. a simple jest to give the wonderful human story so well. the end of the oral argument, he has tears in his eyes. that's how he actually was invested in maintaining segregation. >> on the other side of the lead counsel, thurgood marshall. some other big names. robert carter was part of the naacp legal team. spots with robinson arguing the case louis redding, jack greenburg argued part of the delaware case, george hays and
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james nabrit. i want to show another video next because you talked about the impact of the social science experiment on the justice thinking on this. we have a video with about kenneth and nene clark who conducted this test and we'll talk about its impact on the justices deciding this case. let's watch. >> the doll test was integral to the brown v. board of education. because it clearly demonstrated that separate was not equal and separate was not good. in fact, separate was an injustice. what we're looking at here are the dolls that doctors and used in the dolls. the doll tests were a series of studies that clark and mani did to see racial awareness in young
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children with the implication being that in a segregated society, if children are aware of race and the differences in race, and the difrnferences wit how different racial groups are treated, it would impact how they felt about themselves. what they did that actually became very well known part of the brown case was they showed young children, black and white dolls, and they would ask the children, show me the doll that's nice. give me the doll that's the best. give me the doll that looks like you. and more often than not, the black children showed the doll as the nice doll was the nice do white doll. the best was the white doll. with the last question, the doll that looks like you, that's when
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the children would pause and be a bit more confused or looked troubled dr. clark would say, because they had said in many cases, this is the bad doll, this is the nice doll. so remembering they had said this is the bad doll, they now had to show the doll that looked like them. and it was particularly difficult for them and some children, some black children would do, and some chose the white dog thll that looked likem because couldn't embrace, after having said this is bad, not nice, they couldn't embrace it.
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>> how often does the court rely on social science in making its decision? was this an unusual thing this became part of the thinking? >> a good question. justin brandeis in practice had introduced the reliance on social science into lawyers practice and so it was not the first time in brown. have v. board of education that relied on social science. i think though that what made this different was that, at first, over time and i'm sure it was true then too, there was some question as to how rieeliae the doll studies were. it was sort of a simple kind of experiment and one could raise questions about the methodology and all of the things that we would think about today in terms
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of reliability, of science. so it wasn't all together new but the extent to which the brown opinion ended up relying on the doll study and the idea that black children feel inferior because of segregation i think was profound. >> so we left the story with the death of the chief justice. now, was it because of the chief justice death that decided to rehear the case was it already going to be reheard? >> that is an important question. i don't want to get it wrong. they did decide to rehear it because frankfurter asked for rehearing. but was it right he died after or before? >> i'm not sure about that detail. whether he, what role his death played in the rehearing. >> but the court couldn't come to a decision after hearing the first round of oral arguments. >> they chose not to. and they could have. frankfurter, who tried to take credit for everything insisted
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that he knew, first of all, he had special insight into the south because he had taught southern students at harvard law school. he knew how they would react and then he said, if we just commission this paper about the original understanding of desegregation, that will give us some time and allow the consensus to happen. anyway, vincent dies. frankfurter said, there's a god and earl warren is appointed by dwight eisenhower. >> who is earl warren? >> he was the republican candidate for vice president in 1948 when tom dewey ran and a tall, blond all american moderate republican. this is someone who really made civil rights one of his callings in california and called for the people to be brought together. he does have one stand on his legacy, a very important stand and that is supporting the japanese internment we talked so
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vividly in the kormatsu case. in his memoirs in 1976, he finally expressed remorse for the japanese internment and wept when reflected on what he had done but nevertheless, a very, very moderate and remember, this is a time when the democratic party had been the party of segregation and the republican party was the party of lyncoln. so for earl warren to be in favor of civil rights at the time was not unusual. he had one of the first supreme court seats dwight eisenhower promised to him and then vincent dies and warren said, give me the seat. he said, i can promise to make you chief justice and said, you said the first seat, this is the first seat and held him to the deal. eisenhower points him and later says it was the worst decision he ever made. >> so the second set of oral arguments were heard december 7th to 9th, 1953.
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earl warren, harrell burton and stanley reid. what was the length of oral arguments the second time around and did they differ very much in the arguments made during the first. >> the oral arguments the second time around were focused on these questions about original intent and the trouble there, jeffreys already explained, the 14th amendment, not social integration in the way that we think of today and so the question that was put before the lawyers, the naacp lawyers struggled a bit and the problem was that the answer was not found in the questions that had been put before the lawyers in the court. >> the seminole question before the court in this case, does
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racial segregation of children in public schools deprive minority children of equal protection of the laws under the 14th amendment? so i would like to have you tell a story because the chief justice decided for this decision to work, it had to be unanimous. how did he get to unanimity? >> one of the great examples of judicial statesmanship in american constitutional history. so the arguments are heard as tameka so well described and have the vote and warren begins by saying, this is an easy case. this is an easy case. it's obvious that segregation has the intent and purpose and effect of degrading african-americans and they take a vote. and it's not entirely clear what the first vote was but at least 6-3, maybe 7-2 and there were two major holdouts. robert jackson, the great advocate of judicial restraint,
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as tameka said, and stanley reid from kentucky, ardent segregation. jackson in the hospital. had a hospital and warren visits him and said, it's important for the court this be unanimous. jackson can't see the original understanding or the text or precedent or tradition, reason for brown, is a new dealer who thinks that it's important and he's going to join. and then finally, it comes down to stanley reid. the last segregationist and goes and says, stanley, it's going to look bad for the court and bad for you if this is an 8-1 decision from the center and for the good of the court and got to make it unanimous. and reid, who is an constitutionalist and cares about the court as an constitution agrees to make it unanimous. warren and reid's decision to a spellbound courtroom, he says the question is does segregation violate the 14th amendment? we believe it does and thurgood
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marshall looks up at stanley reid. he cannot believe this ardent segregationist voted to strike down segregation and said, you voted and read down silently and said, you voted for this. this electric moment and a real testament to warren's statesmanship he was able to create unanimity. >> we conclude in the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place. separate educational facilities are inherently unequal, therefore, we hold that the plaintiff and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th amendment. i'm just going to let that stand and take some more calls because our time is evaporating quickly. christopher from brooklyn, new
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york. hi, you're on. >> caller: yes, so majority of white people were against segregation, and i actually saw your preview of the baby situation, the white baby looks like an angel and the black baby looks like an ape. and -- >> move on from here. dennis, from palestine, go ahead here. dennis, you're on. last try for dennis, we're going to move. on to ron watching us from east chicago, indiana. good evening, ron. >> caller: quickly, i want to say wow. this program and this session and this show is so vital for our survival. kudos and congratulations to your program and this is so vital for the survival of america and my question is what do we have to do or need to do
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to keep it going, this discussion has to keep going. you know, our neighborhoods have been robbed of our history and you guys and what if people agree with you, disagree with you, we've got to keep it going, especially during the presidential election. i love you, just want to keep it. thank you very much. god bless you guys. >> appreciate the good comments there. what i would like, before we leave this, i want to get one other thing on the record, which is, you mentioned earlier the cold war and in fact, at least in the first case, the government filed an amica spree that made its cases to the justices after the united states international reputation being damaged by seg e gas statiregas. often, we hear the court saying it's insulated from public opinion, yet, this is one of several cases in this landmark series where wars were going on or in this case, the cold war where there is, seems to be a determined impact on the outcome but the justice's realization
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about the politics or policy impacts of what they're reviewing. help people understand how the court functions and what it says is an insulated study of the law environment, what we keep seeing instances where politics does impact the decision. >> you know, it's so important to focus on this. we think of brown as a counterma jortarian decision, unpopular on imposing rule of equality at a time when most of the country in favor of segregation because of the map you showed earlier because it was so pervasive but in fact, 54% of the country supported desegregation at the time brown came down for the reasons discussing. it was an international embarrassment after world war ii and it was derided as a kind of, you know, worthy of to have this kind of justice of segregation and inferiority and opinion was shifting quickly. it was really the fact that the senate was controlled by a group
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of southerners who refused to bring segregation bills to the floor and the fact both the trueman and eisenhower administration. no big fan of quick desegregation. he said warren was a big mistake but the administration does support striking down desegregation for all these rnlrnl reasons, aware of what the executive is trying to do. it knows about jackie robinson and that sense, brown, bar from thwarting the general rule to the court, has tended over time to follow public opinion. surprisingly supports it. >> so to the micro and then the macro. her family's reaction when they heard the court's decision. let's watch. >> time stood still as the highest court of the land pondered brown v. board of
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education until an afternoon in may of 1954 when i was at school, my father at work, and my mother at home doing the family ironing and listening to the radio. at 12:52 p.m., the announcement came. the court's decision on ending segregation was unanimous. that evening in our home was much rejoicing. i remember seeing tears of joy in the eyes of my father as he embraced this repeating. thanks be unto god. >> we move from linda brown to the societal changes. what was the reaction until tin country? >> thurgood marshall was greeted as an icon, civil rights hero. many african-americans who were very excited about the decision, very hopeful about the decision, the court was viewed over time
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as a hero, a protector of minorities because of the decision. the country, to a lot of people, seemed to be moving in the right direction. on the other hand, there were those who thought that the decision was outrageous, that it was the mother of judicial activism, that court had not followed the law. hadn't been faithful to its imperatives as an constitution and the court had put itself in the position of being a legislature. so there was a lot of pushback against brown v. board of education. >> some of the pushback occurred in the congress of the united states and i'd like to have you talk a little bit about the massive resistance movement. we've got two statements. one from a member of the house and one from a member of the senate who were involved in this. first is josh, john bell williams who made a house floor
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speech on may 1954 and said among other things, the time is at hand when the states must reassert their constitutional rights or suffer their own destruction. if states are to preserve sovereignties and the constitution, they must declare the black monday decision to be illegal and invalid and of no force and effect within the territorial limits of their respective jurisdictions. and then senator harry bird of virginia who organized the massive resistance movement said the unanimous decision of the supreme court to abolish segregation in public education is not only sweeping but will bring implications and dangers of the greatest consequence. it is the most serious blow that has yet been struck against the rights of states in a matter of vitally affecting their authority and welfare. they authored what's called the southern manifesto and it was signed by 19 senators and more
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than 80, what was the effect of this? >> the effect of that which you summarize so vividly, can you imagine as you said, calling it black monday and then signing the southern manifesto was precisely to encourage southern states to resist in the ways that the manifesto demanded. and the resistance, as tameka suggested, was powerful. people across the south set up private academies to educate their kids. in 1959, prince edward county, virginia, closed the entire public school system rather than obey the court order to integrate and closed for 5 years. the public schools in south carolina were closed for a great period of time. norfolk, charlottesville, warren county, schools were all closed by state officials and then finally, the resistance culminated in this next dramatic case, central high school, little rock, arkansas. resistance to allowing
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integration is so great that president eisenhower has to bring in the national guard. >> let's take some calls. this is dennis in palestine, texas. you are on the air. >> caller: hi, i want to say jeffrey rosen is correct that richard kroger's justice, it's fantastic work and was a need for this southern boy who only heard one side of the argument for most of my childhood and even into college. i wanted to ask about a law clerk or justice jackson by the name of william rendquist who at his confirmation hearing in the 1971, the issue came up that he had in fact written a dissent on justice jackson in the brown
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case when it came before the court and said at 71, that was just, they were just covering so to speak. he did not really feel that way. i just wonder if they check to see the voracity of justice's comments at his confirmation some 20 years later. >> you summarize it very well. it was an important controversy. the memo was quite vivid in which chief justice, the law clerk said basically the fact is that southernists don't like black people and never going to admit them and i believe ferguson was a good law and as you say, chief justice rundquist said he asked jackson to express his own thoughts. all we know is that justice jackson's secretary disputed his
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account and never asked for competing opinions to be written in his voice and according to her, ranquist was expressing his own views. >> maurice in memphis. >> good evening to all of you. the 14th amendment does not apply to the government. i do feel like the fundamental protections are so important they appear twice. so due process of laws. the protection of the law is a more explicit safeguard of prohibited unfairness than due process of law. but i would not assert two are always interchangeable of praises. how do you feel about the assertion that the concepts of equal protection and due process are not mutually exclusive?
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>> well, i think you're referring to the controversy over bowling versus shark where the court reads an equal protection component into the fifth amendment. there's a lot of discussion about exactly how the court does this. how the court explains it. i don't think the court goes very far towards an explanation. the fact of the matter is there was not going to be any way that you would get one holding in before cases involving the state and a different holding in the case involving the district of columbia. therefore, we get this equal protection component read into the due process clause. as to how appropriate that was, i tend to think that there is an understanding of due process
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that makes it a very robust concept. the due process clause is the basis of the court that ends up using for fundamental rights analysis and so i would say that they're not the same but there's an appropriateness to reading that component, the equal protection component into the fifth amendment under those circumstances. >> tameka is absolutely right. one quick thing. justice believed that exemption from class legislation or unfriendly legislation based on race was itself a privilege in the unity of citizenship and read it out of the 14th amendment. if you watch the excellent slaughterhouse episode, that argument is not longer available but it might have been a less closed case.
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>> a quick comment to mr. putnam on twitter. what did the brown v. board decision do, notable for his fuzz fussy? >> he was one of the great prophets of the 19th century. >> chuck, you're on. go ahead. >> caller: hello? >> we can hear you. go ahead please. >> caller: hello, hello? brown reversed the plessi decision, is it true that railroads continue to ignore the brown decision and continue segregating passenger rail cars until the civil rights act? >> it's not just railroads, it's all kinds of public institutions that don't exactly comply with
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brown. so it takes long time, as you say, for brown to exactly be implemented. as jeffrey pointed out, there's a coupa versus erin decision and speaks to the problem of school segregation. the problem is unless there's, in the early years after brown, if there's not these dramatic instances of resistance to the decision, the school districts are able to proceed in whatever way they see fit for a long time. it's not until the mid, really, the late 1960s after the civil rights act that brown is any substantial way. >> the next is thurgood marshall who gave an interview to mike wallace, famous of cbs, on president eisenhower and what he thought of the president's
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decision or response to the desegregation on april 16th, 1957. let's watch. >> i do not think president eisenhower has done anywhere near what he could have done. i wonder whether it's too late. i personally don't think it's too late but i think the president should have sharply after the decisions or at least by now have gotten on a television network or radio and spoken as the chief executive of this government to the good people of the south urging them to support the decision of the supreme court as the law of the land whether they believe in it or not and to use the full influence of his position as president to bring about peaceful solution of this problem. i think he was obliged to do that and i think that his failure to do so does not help us at all, especially when we
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realize as a result of the failure of the good to take over, we've allowed these other forces like the white citizens councils and the clan to threaten and intimidate good people. how moral leadership should come from the top executive of the government. it's his responsibility. >> five months after that decision, president eisenhower sent federal troops into enforce the desegregation in little rock, arkansas. so walk us through president eisenhower's legacy on this? >> cooper, as if brown wasn't dramatic enough, cooper v. erin is also incredibly dramatic. you have court order to be integrating high schools and at the schoolhouse door saying he's never going to allow the
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students to come in and you have president eisenhower's decision to send the national guard to ensure admission of schoolkids and then a supreme court which is so afraid that its rule to integrate the schools, because they're not sure what eisenhower will do, each of the justices signs the decision in ink on the decision itself. this is never done before. all the justices to prove their unanimity will sign it. it seems like a show of strength and in fact, it's a sign of they're scared to death he's really not going to follow through. and there's also language in cooper v. erin of judicial supremacy that overstates the case, this court is supreme in its interpretation of the constitution. the president and congress have no role. that wasn't was john asserted. basically, these are nine men, that's what they were then, literally don't know what the president will do and the fact he did send the troops and despite his grumbling about earl
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warren did ultimately say the supreme court made his decision and i have to enforce the law. it helps mitigate the legacy and some interesting, eisenhower was aware of the shifting politics but he was more supportive of desegregation and appeared public. >> one more video and then come back to talk about this. this is earl warren. taped in 1969 in an interview and he's talking about his frustration with the resistance to the brown decision. let's mix that in and then hear your thoughts on this. >> in some parts of the country, yes, one couldn't help being impatient when it would see the martyrs of the court and not obeyed in any sense of the word
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and illegal things were changed in form but not in substance and carried on. of course. one feels frustrated at that but when the american people as a whole recognize that we have in the past been wrong in depriving certain minorities of their constitutional rights and when we make the decision to see that they will in the future have these rights, then i think we'll be on our way to solve most of our domestic problems. >> a couple of things to say. first of all, i agree it's fair with the scholar on eisenhower, a somewhat different spin on his views. however, and there is cooper
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versus aaron where he sent in the guard. those are important. at the same time, i think the problem for eisenhower as it relates to school desegregation is that there's a sense he doesn't, first of all, he's very supportive of states rights. which is what thurgood marshall is talking about it. and then there's a sense that he is not really supportive of the principle of desegregation as a personal matter. so there's this story about how at a white house dinner, he was overheard saying that the people of the south who were resistance were not bad people. they were concerned about the little white girls signature beside overgrown black boys in the classroom. so i do think that there's not that personal commitment to brown v. board of education and he in that sense was on the wrong side of history.
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earl warren on the other hand, also a politician, and not a man who certainly when he was appointed was respected as a great legal thinker. his skills were political. understood that having the office of the presidency behind the supreme court, having congress and all three branches acting in the same way as we had after 1964 was really the only way that the decision would be enforced? >> let me take a call from ken watching us in somerset, new jersey. hi, you're on. >> thank you. i have two questions. number one, it's my understanding that despite what you said earlier that eisenhower said that appointing warren to the supreme court was one of his worst decisions. it's my understanding that at the time he appointed warren, he
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intentionally appointed him because of this case and he wanted that to have the kind of decision and like to hear your comments on that. and secondly, it's also my understanding that when eisenhower sent troops into arkansas, it was also the first time that the president, the executive stood behind the supreme court, especially since president jackson in 1828. i'd like to hear your comments. >> i love the fact you bring up jackson. he did famously say in the cherokee indians case, of john marshall's decision, he made his decision and now let him enforce it, confirming the adage that the supreme court depends on the president. i had not heard that warren, eisenhower appointed warren because he wanted a positive decision in brown and the fact he resisted making the appointment at all trying to renege and saying i didn't mean you for chief seems to call that
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into question and i do agree with thome ka and despite his, e was on the wrong side here and if any viewers have a site for that, please tweet us or something like that but i haven't heard that particular story. >> we have ten minutes to talk about the 60 years of legacy on the brown decision which is just impossible to do. so first, i want to start with the legal legacy. we have four citations of brown and loving v. virginia, which was marriages and san antonio school district v. rodriguez and planned parenthood v. casey. what did it leave the country with from that perspective? >> that's a really good question. i will say. you know, the most important
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legal legacy of brown, i think goes back to the point that it established the idea that the supreme court can be interventionists who protect individual rights in the most profound way. it was cited in various cases where the issue wasn't schools on that point. but i will also say that brown has a mixed legacy in part because it could be interpreted in so many ways. so you cite san antonio versus rodriguez and there is a discussion of that decision by justice powell who writes san antonio, a case that a suspect and education is not a fundamental right. that is inconsistent with thurgood marshall and a lot of people's understanding of the consequences of brown v. board
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of education. when it came to the question of what it meant for education itself, brown was not persuasive authority on that point and there are other examples to point to. >> i want to get this into it because with talking about the integration of schools, bob hepburn on twitter says, so far, you have not mentioned the hedge from the supreme court using the phrase integrating with all deliberate speed. how did this come into play? how instructive was the court in actual rollout of desegregation? >> thank you, bob, for noting that. the language came from our friend, felix frankfurter always something up his sleeve and said, i know from english common law and principles of equity when you're not sure that a particular decree immediately enforced, you can give the parties a little bit of discretion and tell them, they don't have to do it immediately and this principle was resisted by hugo black and said he taught southern harvard law students
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from the south and black said you get this to have any room, it's going to be worse. but frankfurter put in that language and there's lots of other hedges in that decision in brown while giving weight to public and private considerations, make a prompt and reasonable start. the courts can consider problems related to administration, but disagreement, the court did say the vitality of the constitutional principles can't be allowed to yield simply because of a disagreement with them. the bottom line is with all the speed, it was a huge pass to the south basically saying, go ahead and we're not going to be on you if you resist. and as tameka, this point she made, it wasn't until not only the passage of the civil rights act in '64 but the guidelines developed a few years later that threatened to withhold federal funds that didn't deseg rerate and only then did it occur and took more than a decade after
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brown to actually achieve its promise. >> the court seems to continue to struggle, at least at the university level with affirmative action cases and another one scheduled for this term in the court. so what has really been the societal legacy of brown v. board of education? >> another big question. well, i would point as to parents involved which was a case about k through 12 education and whether school district could voluntarily desegregate and there, the court held, it struck down the policies that were at issue. and which, in louisville, had been adopted, desegregation policy adopted after the school system was no longer officially under court order by consensus, large consensus of the community, it wanted to continue with this integration program in schools and it was considered a model community for integration
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and the court impeded that saying that the principles established in the affirmative action cases regarding diversity really don't apply in the k through 12 context. and then as you mentioned, there is the continuing controversy over affirmative action, the court is going to hear the fisher case again. it will rule on the merits and it doesn't look good to proponents of affirmative action. it may not be a sweeping holding but the nature of a confirmation that the court is having is really going back to the word some would say of judicial supremacy. the court in the affirmative action context is saying it needs to be satisfied that there aren't race neutral alternatives to these race conscious policies and there are university officials, educational officials who would argue that they need
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to be in that position of exercising discretion about composing their student bodies. >> here's a little bit of chief justice john roberts and the parents involved decision. parents involved in the community schools versus seattle heard in 2007. some of what he wrote is this. before brown, school children were told where they could and not go to school based on the color of their skin. the school districts have not carried the heavy burden of demonstrating that we should allow this once again, even for very different reasons. the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. >> as tameka says, a huge debate on the supreme court right now about the meaning of brown. is it a ban on all racial classifications as chief justice roberts suggests or on racial subordination? does it demand color blindness or just prohibit caste-affirming laws that degrade? it's deeply divided on the issue
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and the division can be found in brown 2 which didn't clearly resolve whether it was demanding equality of opportunity, the end of formal segregation or quality of results actual integration. this continues to this day, all i can say is that with c-span, the national constitution center is going to be hosting a series of debates on all of these questions including a great one on the fisher case next week with our partners at intelligence square. but the fact that even years after brown, more than 50, 60 years of aub brobrown, we haven resolved it. and continues to be contested and debated. >> my last piece of video is thurgood marshall, as you know, the architect of the naacp legal strategy to decided to attack the segregation of schools as a process to help change society. thurgood marshall, as you know, pointed to the supreme court as the first african-american
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justice served from 1967 through 1991. here's justice marshall at the national bar association meeting in 1988. accepting the award and talked a bit about the state of race relations post-brown. >> independence and all of the books together is that important. what is important is a goal. a goal that is a basis of true democracy which is above the law and something that must wait for it and wait for it. that goal is that if a child, a
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negro child is born to a black mother in a state like mississippi or any other state like that, born to the dumbest, poorest sharecropper, it's by merely drawing its first breath in the democracy there and without any more, born with the exact same rights as a similar child born to a white parent of the wealthiest person in the united states. no, it's not true. of course, it's not true. it never will be true, but i challenge anybody to protect the position that's not the goal that we should be shooting for
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and start talking about how far we've come and how close we are. >> and with that thought, we have about a minute left for your comments on the brown v. board decision in 1954 and really what its significance has been on american society. >> well, i think it is a decision that was important in constitutional law. it's generally considered the most important constitutional law, case of the 20th century and rightly so. a paradox though because of all the things we talked about. brown was not considered to be a common law case that was actually based in law, right? there are many questions about the method that the court uses to reach its decision but over time, it is accepted as the right principle. the court did the right thing. that's important. it sets a high bar, high
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aspirations for us. and as justice marshall said, so many times, we're still climbing towards its goals. >> jefferson and the declaration of independence promised all men are created equal yet he owned slaves, took lincoln's new birth of freedom at gettysburg to make the promise of declaration closer to reality, civil war amendments, the 13, 14, and 15 amendments tried to enshrine that in the constitution but took a century after that for brown to at least begin to make the promise of the declaration and the reconstruction amendments a reality and we have not certainly come close to achieving that for the reasons we've been discussing. >> thank you for being with us for this installment of landmark cases looking at the 1954 decision of brown v. board of education and thanks to you for being part of our audience. of e. and thanks to you for being part of our audience.
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american history tv in prime time all week here on c-span 3 with series landmark cases. tonight, we'll look at mapp v.
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ohio. found evidence cannot be used in criminal prosecutions if it is collected in violation of fourth amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. that's tonight on c-span3 at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> landmark cases returns live next february on c-span. join us to hear more stories of the people who sparked ground breaking cases and the justices and lawyers who were key to the supreme court's review. >> c-span has been on the road meeting with winners of this year's student cam video documentary competition. at lar mee high school in laramie, wyoming, accept her first place prize of $3,000 for her documentary on dependence on fossil fuels. in golden, colorado, ethan
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cranston accepted a second place prize of $1500 for his documentary on cybersecurity and third place award in denver of $750 went to tenth graders dunham perry and max for digital theft and hacking documentary. st. thomas moore high school in rapid city, south dakota, where audrey cope, grace and carolyn won third place prize of $750 for racial inequality in america. and five hours east in sioux falls, south dakota, caleb miller at patly henry received third place of $750 for his documentary on the national debt. and classmate aden. thomas a. edison middle school, won honorable mentions in $250
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per group. sarah on her national debt, joel osmondson and then documentary on terrorism. lauren yu, mia went zell, documentary on global warming. thank you to all the students who took part in the 2017 student cam documentary competition. to watch any of the videos, go to and student cam 2018 starts with the constitution and you. we're asking students to choose any provision of the u.s. constitution and create a video illustrating why the provision is important. >> up next on american history tv on c-span 3, justice thurgood marshall. first african-american on the high court from 1967 to


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