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Green v. County School Board

Historical Background, The Facts At Hand, The Supreme Court Reverses


Charles C. Green, et al.


County School Board of New Kent County, Virginia, et al.

Petitioners' Claim

That the New Kent County School Board's "freedom of choice" plan allowing students to choose their own public schools is not an acceptable method for reversing segregation.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioners

Samuel W. Tucker, Jack Greenberg

Chief Lawyer for Respondents

Frederick T. Gray

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, John Marshall Harlan II, Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart, Earl Warren, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

27 May 1968


The New Kent County School Board's "freedom of choice" plan was deemed an unacceptable means of undoing segregation.


The Supreme Court's decision in Green v. County School Board restated the Court's resolve to end segregated schooling and established more specific parameters for allowable and effective means to that end.


The Supreme Court's decision Green v. County School Board retained flexibility for states and local school boards to craft their own desegregation plans, but reaffirmed the Court's willingness to intervene if those plans did not provide substantial and swift progress in complying with the edicts of Brown v. Board of Education.

Related Cases

  • Alexander v. Board of Education, 396 U.S. 19 (1969).
  • Dowell v. Board of Education, 396 U.S. 269 (1969).
  • Board of Education v. Swann, 402 U.S. 43 (1971).
  • United States v. Edgar, 404 U.S. 1206 (1971).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972