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In Bolling v. Sharpe (1954), African American junior high school students challenged the denial of their requests for admission to all-White schools in Washington, D.C. The case was linked to similar cases in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) case, but it raised particular issues, because the federal government rather than the states was being accused of discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not be held to a lesser standard in this important issue of liberty.

Facts of the Case

The schools that the African American students attended were in poor physical condition and lacked adequate educational materials. The students, who were initially led by Thurgood Marshall's mentor Charles Hamilton Houston, disputed the validity of segregation in the public ...

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