Law Commemorates 'Brown v. Board of Education'

Julieta Gonzalez
Jan. 21, 2004


The 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court's decision in the landmark desegregation case of "Brown v. Board of Education" will be commemorated with a series of public discussions and activities this spring at the University of Arizona's Rogers College of Law.

On May 17, 1954, The United States Supreme Court rendered the decision, which is considered a landmark case in contemporary American law. The Court unanimously declared that the practice of segregating students in educational facilities violated the students' equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

"The issues in the Brown case went straight to the heart of American society, asking and answering some profound questions about equality and justice," says Toni M. Massaro, dean of the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law. "Those issues are still with us today -- in many different contexts and manifestations -- and continue to be felt in communities all across the country."

Sweeping civil rights changes triggered by Brown included some local controversies, including a desegregation lawsuit against Tucson Unified School District. The lawsuit will be discussed as part of the law school's commemoration.

In addition to the two planned public discussions, other activities may be added throughout the spring. Updated information is available on the College's Web site.

A Retrospective on Tucson's Desegregation Lawsuit
Law Professor Barbara Atwood will moderate a panel on the local impact of Brown, including local litigation (Fisher v. Lohr). Tucson Unified School District still operates under a controversial consent decree in that case. Panelists will include The Honorable William Brammer, Arizona Court of Appeals, Larry Hammond, attorney, Ruben Salter, Jr., attorney, Armand Salese, attorney and Anna Jolivet, Community Leader

Affirmative Action in Education 2004
The panel will be moderated by Richard Ruiz of the department of language, reading and culture at the UA's College of Education. Confirmed panelists include: constitutional law professor Gabriel "Jack" Chin, associate law professor Ana Maria Merico-Stephens; assistant dean of admissions Terry Holpert; and attorney Patricia Ann Green. Among other affirmative action topics, panelists will comment on last summer's United States Supreme Court decisions regarding affirmative action in higher education.

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The UA Rogers College of Law presents a series of public discussions and activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landmark desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education.