BOLLING v. SHARPE

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
8
Petitioner 
Bolling
Respondent 
Sharpe
Consolidation 
Briggs v. Elliott, No. 2
Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia, No. 4
Gebhart v. Belton, No. 10
Reargued: 
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Term:
Facts of the Case 

On account of their race, black children in Washington D.C. were denied admission to the same public schools which white children attended.

Question 

Did the segregation of the public schools of Washington D.C. violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Bolling, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Equal Protection

Yes. In a unanimous decision, the Court found that racial discrimination in the public schools of Washington D.C. denied blacks due process of law as protected by the Fifth Amendment. Noting the legal peculiarities of the District of Columbia, Chief Justice Warren recognized that the Fifth Amendment (which applied to the District) did not contain an equal protection clause while the Fourteenth Amendment (which was used as the standard for outlawing racial segregation in public education in Brown v. Board of Education) did. Lacking an equal protection standard to invalidate the District's racial segregation in public education, Warren creatively relied on the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of "liberty" to find the segregation of the Washington D.C. schools unconstitutional.

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BOLLING v. SHARPE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 01 September 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1952/1952_8/>.
BOLLING v. SHARPE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1952/1952_8/ (last visited September 1, 2014).
"BOLLING v. SHARPE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed September 1, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1950-1959/1952/1952_8/.