Review : Brown V. Board Of Education Essay

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1) During the New Deal and Great Society Eras the Supreme Court innovated a number of Constitutional law doctrines in order to fight the pervasive discrimination of Jim Crow. Describe two such doctrinal innovations—how did the law change from previous interpretations and what are the specific case examples?

Brown v. Board of Education is an excellent example of doctrinal innovation that changed its interpretation from previous precedent such as in Plessy v. Ferguson. This changed the interpretation of the 14th amendment Equal Protection Clause. When the 14th amendment was ratified in 1868, the framers had a very narrow interpretation of equality and whom it pertained to. Unfortunately, at the time of ratification, the Equal Protection Clause did not extend to protect all citizens in practice. Furthermore, when Plessy was interpreted there was a motivation of white supremacy behind the opinion of the new doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ that was still creating inequality among African Americans and the rest of society. This original doctrine believed that as long as other races had the same facility as whites but were kept separate then it was fair and for the benefit of the greater society to keep the races segregated. The problem later realized in Brown was that there was a lack of equality and ability to enforce and guarantee that equality when there is a separation. Therefore, in Brown v. Board this interpretation shifted to a broader definition of equality. The…

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