Why was the case of Brown v The Board of Education an example of judicial restraint?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It wasn't.

    Many of the famous great decisions in judicial history are the very same things that are criticized at the time as judicial activism.

    In the case of Brown, the Thurgood Marshall (who argued the case and later became a prominent Supreme Court Justice himself) didn't have existing law on his side, that was entirely clear. Plessy v. Fergison clearly stated that separate but equal institutions did not violate the 14th amendment.

    As the old saying goes, when you don't have the facts, you argue the law. When you don't have the law, you argue the facts. Marshall didn't have the law, so he argued the facts. He showed through statistics and anecdotes how separate cannot possibly be equal and the Supreme Court agreed. They ruled that the existing law was wrong. They ruled that the existing interpretation of the constitution was wrong as well. They extended the protections of the 14th amendment to end jim crow laws.

    Further, after the first case, there was some question about the remedy. The case went back to the Court and the Court made it plainly clear that nothing less than integration would satisfy the Constitution as the Court then interpreted it. It was a courageous decision and one criticized at the time as horribly activist.

    Keep that in mind when judging decisions in present day.

  • 1 decade ago

    Think about the 14th Amendment.....and how it was not used to be Incorporated into the bill of rights

    Joe I did not want to do his homework for him...I had to do my own work in law school

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