In 1956, US Courts Affirmed that Segregated Buses Violated Equal Protection Clause of Constitution


From Browder v. Gayle, 142 F. Supp. 707, 710, 1956 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4194, *1 (D. Ala. 1956):

Procedural Posture

Plaintiffs, four black citizens, brought a class action lawsuit against defendants, city commissioners, chief of police, public service commission, common carrier, and drivers, to test the constitutionality of laws that require the segregation of the white and colored races on city motor buses.

Overview

City and state laws required the segregation of the white and colored race on the motor buses within the city of Montgomery (city), Alabama. Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a), four black citizens brought a class action lawsuit against the city commissioners, chief of police, state public service commission, a common carrier, and its drivers, challenging the constitutionality of those laws. The court held that it could not in good conscience blindly follow the "separate but equal" doctrine, when that doctrine was no longer a correct statement of the law. The court found that the "separate but equal" doctrine had been impliedly, though not explicitly, overruled and could no longer be applied to public carrier transportation within the city. Accordingly, the court ruled that statutes and ordinances requiring segregation on motor buses violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Outcome

The court held that the statutes and ordinances requiring segregation of the white and colored races on the motor buses of a common carrier of passengers violated the due process and equal protection of the law clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Browder v. Gayle, 142 F. Supp. 707, 710, 1956 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4194, *1 (D. Ala. 1956)

See also:

Gayle v. Browder, 352 U.S. 903, 77 S. Ct. 145, 1 L. Ed. 2d 114 (U.S. 1956)

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