The Warren Court (1953–69)

Racial Discrimination

What did the Court say about a county that closed its schools rather than desegregate?

In response to the Brown decision, county officials in Prince Edward County, Virginia, closed its public schools rather than desegregate its school system. The county provided tuition grants and tax credits to whites-only private schools. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (1964) that the actions of county officials violated the Equal Protection Clause. Justice Hugo Black wrote for the Court: “There has been entirely too much deliberation and not enough speed in enforcing the constitutional rights which we held in Brown v. Board of Education, supra, had been denied Prince Edward County Negro children.”


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