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SIPUEL v. BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA ET AL. (332 U.S. 631 (1948))
CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF OKLAHOMA.
No. 369. Argued January 7-8, 1948.-Decided January 12, 1948.
A Negro, concededly qualified to receive professional legal education offered by a State, cannot be denied such education because of her color. The State must provide such education for her in conformity with the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and provide it as soon as it does for applicants of any other group. Pp. 632-633.
199 Okla. 36, 180 P. 2d 135, reversed.
The Supreme Court of Oklahoma affirmed a denial by an inferior state court of a writ of mandamus to require admission of a qualified Negro applicant to a state law school. 199 Okla. 36, 180 P. 2d 135. This Court granted certiorari. 332 U. S. 814. Reversed, p. 633.
Thurgood Marshall and Amos T. Hall argued the cause for petitioner. With them on the brief was Frank D. Reeves.
Fred Hansen, First Assistant Attorney General of Oklahoma, and Maurice H. Merrill argued the cause for respondents. With them on the brief was Mac Q. Williamson, Attorney General.
Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed by Robert W. Kenny, O. John Rogge, and Andrew D. Weinberger for the National Lawyers Guild; and Arthur Garfield Hays and Osmond K. Fraenkel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
On January 14, 1946, the petitioner, a Negro, concededly qualified to receive the professional legal education offered by the State, applied for admission to the
School of Law of the University of Oklahoma, the only institution for legal education supported and maintained by the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma. Petitioner's application for admission was denied, solely because of her color.
Petitioner then made application for a writ of mandamus in the District Court of Cleveland County, Oklahoma. The writ of mandamus was refused, and the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma affirmed the judgment of the District Court. 199 Okla. 36, 180 P. 2d 135. We brought the case here for review.
The petitioner is entitled to secure legal education afforded by a state institution. To this time, it has been denied her although during the same period many white applicants have been afforded legal education by the State. The State must provide it for her in conformity with the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and provide it as soon as it does for applicants of any other group. Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U. S. 337 (1938).
The judgment of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma is reversed and the cause is remanded to that court for proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
The mandate shall issue forthwith.
SHELLEY ET UX. v. KRAEMER ET UX.
CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI.
Argued January 15-16, 1948.-Decided May 3, 1948.
Private agreements to exclude persons of designated race or color from the use or occupancy of real estate for residential purposes do not violate the Fourteenth Amendment; but it is violative of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for state courts to enforce them. Corrigan v. Buckley, 271 U. S. 323, distinguished. Pp. &-23.
(a) Such private agreements standing alone do not violate any rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 12–13.
(b) The actions of state courts and judicial officers in their official capacities are actions of the states within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 14-18.
(c) In granting judicial enforcement of such private agreements in these cases, the states acted to deny petitioners the equal protection of the laws, contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 18-23.
(d) The fact that state courts stand ready to enforce restrictive covenants excluding white persons from the ownership or occupancy of property covered by them does not prevent the enforcement of covenants excluding colored persons from constituting a denial of equal protection of the laws, since the rights created by § 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment are guaranteed to the individual. Pp. 21-22.
*Together with No. 87, McGhee et ur. v. Sipes et al., on certiorari to the Supreme Court of Michigan.
(e) Denial of acess to the courts to enforce such restrictive covenants does not deny equal protection of the laws to the parties to such agreements. P. 22.
355 Mo. 814, 198 8. W. 2d 679, and 316 Mich. 614, 25 N. W. 2d 638, reversed.
No. 72. The Supreme Court of Missouri reversed a judgment of a state trial court denying enforcement of a private agreement restricting the use or occupancy of certain real estate to persons of the Caucasian race. 355 Mo. 814, 198 S. W. 2d 679. This Court granted certiorari. 331 U.S. 803. Reversed, p. 23.
No. 87. The Supreme Court of Michigan affirmed judgment of a state trial court enjoining violation of a private agreement restricting the use or occupancy of certain real estate to persons of the Caucasian race. 316 Mich. 614, 25 N. W. 2d 638. This Court granted certiorari. 331 U.S. 804. Reversed, p. 23.
George L. Vaughn and Herman Willer argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioners in No. 72. Earl Susman was also of counsel.
Thurgood Marshall and Loren Miller argued the cause for petitioners in No. 87. With them on the brief were Willis M. Graves, Francis Dent, William H. Hastie, Charles H. Houston, George M. Johnson, William R. Ming, Jr., James Nabrit, Jr., Marian Wynn Perry, Spottswood W. Robinson, III, Andrew Weinberger and Ruth Weyand.
By special leave of Court, Solicitor General Perlman argued the cause for the United States, as amicus curiae, supporting petitioners. With him on the brief was Attorney General Clark.
Gerald L. Seegers argued the cause for respondents in No. 72. With him on the brief was Walter H. Pollmann. Benjamin F. York was also of counsel.
Henry Gilligan and James A. Crooks argued the cause and filed a brief for respondents in No. 87. Lloyd T. Chockley was also of counsel.
Briefs of amici curiae supporting petitioners were filed by Perry W. Howard for the Civil Liberties Department, Grand Lodge of Elks, I. B. P. O. E. W.; Isaac Pacht, Irving Hill and Clore Warne; Robert McC. Marsh and Eugene Blanc, Jr. for the Protestant Council of New York City; Herbert S. Thatcher and Robert A. Wilson for the American Federation of Labor; Julius L. Goldstein for the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights, Inc.; Melville J. France for the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches et al.; Robert W. Kenny, O. John Rogge and Mozart G. Ratner for the National Lawyers Guild; Lee Pressman, Eugene Cotton, Frank Donner, John J. Abt, Leon M. Despres, M. H. Goldstein, Isadore Katz, David Rein, Samuel L. Rothbard, Harry Sacher, William Standard and Lindsay P. Walden for the Congress of Industrial Organizations et al.; Phineas Indritz, Irving R. M. Panzer and Richard A. Solomon for the American Veterans Committee; William Maslow, Shad Polier, Joseph B. Robison, Byron S. Miller and William Strong for the American Jewish Congress; Joseph M. Proskauer and Jacob Grumet for the American Jewish Committee et al.; William Strong for the American Indian Citizens League of California, Inc.; Francis M. Dent, Walter M. Nelson, Eugene H. Buder, Victor B. Harris, Luther Ely Smith and Harold 1. Kahen for the American Civil Liberties Union; Earl B. Dickerson, Richard E Westbrooks and Loring B. Moore for the