Breaking the Back of Segregation: Why Sweatt Matters

36 Thurgood Marshall Law Review 7-37 (2010) (published in 2012)

32 Pages Posted: 28 May 2012

See all articles by Paul Finkelman

Paul Finkelman

Gratz College; Albany Law School

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

In this article the author argues that Sweatt v. Painter (1950) deserves greater prominence in legal history and the history of integration. Sweatt is the first case in which the Supreme Court articulated that under some circumstances "separate but equal" could never pass constitutional muster because the institution created for blacks could never be equal to the institution for whites. Here the Court held that no matter what the State of Texas create for blacks, it could never create an law school that was "equal" to the law school at the University of Texas at Austin. Significantly, the unanimous Court that decided this case include a graduate of the University of Texas Law School, Justice Tom Clark. Thus, this article argues that Sweatt set the stage for Brown v. Board of Education by sending a clear message to the South that in important ways segregation could never create equal institutions.

Suggested Citation

Finkelman, Paul, Breaking the Back of Segregation: Why Sweatt Matters (2010). 36 Thurgood Marshall Law Review 7-37 (2010) (published in 2012), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2066081

Paul Finkelman (Contact Author)

Gratz College ( email )

7605 Old York Road
Melrose Park, PA 19027
United States

Albany Law School

NY
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
128
Abstract Views
1,257
rank
305,318
PlumX Metrics