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Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia

Significance, Court Finds That Mandatory Segregation On Public Motor Carriers Traveling Between States Violates Commerce Clause


Irene Morgan


Commonwealth of Virginia

Appellant's Claim

That forced segregation on buses traveling between states is unconstitutional.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

William H. Hastie, Thurgood Marshall

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Abran P. Staples

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, Frank Murphy, Stanley Forman Reed (writing for the Court), Wiley Blount Rutledge

Justices Dissenting

Harold Burton (Robert H. Jackson and Harlan Fiske Stone did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

3 June 1946


Forced racial segregation on buses traveling between states is an impermissible burden on interstate commerce.

Related Cases

  • Hall v. DeCuir, 95 U.S. 485 (1878).
  • Louisiana, New Orleans & Texas Railway Co. v. Mississippi, 133 U.S. 587 (1890).
  • Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).

Further Readings

  • Barnes, Catherine A. Journey from Jim Crow: The Desegregation of Southern Transit. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1983.
  • Lofgren, Charles A. The Plessy Case: A Legal-Historical Interpretation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • Nieman, Donald G., ed. Black Southerners and the Law, 1865-1900. New York, NY: Garland, 1994.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953