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Bolling v. Sharpe

Significance, Separate Can Never Be Equal, "due Process" Requires "equal Protection", Further Readings


Bolling and other African American children residents in the District of Columbia


The District of Columbia public school system

Petitioners' Claim

Because racial segregation in the public schools is unconstitutional, they should be allowed to attend white schools that had rejected them.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioners

George E. C. Hayes, James M. Nabrit, George M. Johnson, Herbert O. Reid, Charles W. Quick

Chief Lawyers for Respondents

Milton D. Korman, Vernon E. West, Chester H. Gray, Lyman J. Umstead

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, Harold Burton, Tom C. Clark, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, Robert H. Jackson, Sherman Minton, Stanley Forman Reed, Earl Warren (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

17 May 1954


Racial segregation among District of Columbia school children was not legal under the Constitution.

Related Cases

  • Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962