1.1 Key Details: The US Attorney General rejected a plan by North Carolina for
reapportionment because it only created one black-majority district. North Carolina
then submitted a second plan featuring two black-majority districts. One of the
districts was, in parts, no wider than an interstate highway. Five concerned North
Carolina residents challenged the constitutionality of this district because of its odd
shape. They claimed that it was an example of racial gerrymandering. The residents
appealed to the Supreme Court.
1.2 Significance: The Court decided that North Carolina's reapportionment was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment because it sought to separate voters based on race. They decided that compelling government interest
is necessary for there to be legal unbalanced racial gerrymandering.
2 Brown v Board of Education
2.1 Significance: The Court decided that the doctrine of "separate but equal" is
invalid, that separate but equal educational facilities for racial minorities are
inherently unequal, and that such laws providing for those facilities violate
the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This case
outlawed race-based segregation in public schools and led to the integration
of public schools across the nation in the years to come.
2.2 Key Details: This case was a consolidation of several cases in South
Carolina, Kansas, and Washington D.C. having to do with the
segregation of public schools on the basis of race. In every case,
African-American students had been denied entrance to public
schools as a result of laws that allowed public education to be
separated by race. The plaintiffs argued that such segregation
violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. For a long time, the previous Supreme Court case
"Plessy v Ferguson" had denied plaintiffs relief in the lower courts
based on the notion of "separate but equal."