Brown v. Board of Education

For this assignment, you will need to evaluate the bolded statement below. You do not need to do
any outside research, but if you do use outside sources be sure to include a full citation at the end
of your paper so that the reader can easily locate the source. As usual, you can agree, disagree or
agree in part and disagree in part with the statement. A good essay will begin with a strong
statement of your thesis and will then support your thesis with facts and ideas that we have
covered in the course so far. All essays should be completely free of typos and mechanical errors.
Your paper cannot exceed 900 words in length. Any writing beyond 900 words will not be
read or considered for evaluation.


Brown v. Board of Education was an unjustified grab for political power by the U.S.
Supreme Court. The decision violated classical republican norms by dictating policy to
democratically elected state legislatures. It violated classical liberal norms by replacing one
form of required social ordering – segregation – with another required form – integrationinstead of leaving citizens free to choose with whom to associate. It violated common law
norms by overturning a long-standing precedent without finding that Plessy’s reasoning
was defective. The only justification for the decision was a weak appeal to social science. In
Brown, the Court exceeded the constitution’s limits on U.S. Supreme Court authority and
unconstitutionally pre-empted state legislative prerogatives.

Reading:
Brown v. Board of Education
http://www.benbrownshistoryandlaw.com/brown-v-board-of-education-1
PLESSY v. FERGUSON, 163 U.S. 537 (1896)
http://www.benbrownshistoryandlaw.com/plessy-v-ferguson
Do not need to find outside sources, all examples and cases are in the
power points.
The articles and cases mentioned in PPT are available on this website:
http://www.benbrownshistoryandlaw.com/
See “U. S. Supreme Court Cases – Edited”

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