Bolling v. Sharpe

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347 U.S. 497 (1954), argued 10–11 Dec. 1952, reargued 8–9 Dec. 1953, decided 17 May 1954 by vote of 9 to 0; Warren for the Court. Chief Justice Earl Warren held that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment implicitly forbade most racial discrimination by the federal government just as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment restricts states. Having just held in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that states could not segregate public schools on the basis of race, Warren wrote that “to impose a lesser duty” in the District of Columbia—where the Fifth Amendment covered congressional action—would be “unthinkable” (p. 500) but many scholars accused Warren of begging the question.

Dennis J. Hutchinson

Subjects: Law.

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