Brown v. Board of Education  is the seminal case of the Twentieth Century. Mere mention of the case can start discussion on any number of topics, all important and all that relate to, or were importantly affected by, Brown. Some of those discussions relate to the immediate subject of Brown: Was state-imposed racially segregated public education a violation of the Equal Protection Clause? What is the nature of race relations in America? How close are we to achieving a racially just society? How fair is our system of public education? Others might focus on Brown for its impact on institutions of government: What does Brown suggest about the nature of law and the judicial role? What role did Brown have in the proliferation of constitutional rights claimed since then? And what impact did it have on the relative roles and behavior of national and state government and of different institutions of the federal government? Finally, Brown suggests a range of historical questions, regarding the origins and nature of segregation and discrimination, the factors that produced the decision, and its impact, both immediate and over a longer period.
Goldstein, Joel K., Introduction. Saint Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 48, No. 791, 2004. Reprinted with permission of the Saint Louis University Law Journal © 20__ and/or 19__St. Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri.