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The Papers of Justice Tom C. Clark

DesegregationSchool PrayerFourth AmendmentFifth AmendmentVoting RightsCommunismMexican American Civil Rights

Sweatt v. Painter (1950)Brown v. Board of EducationHeart of Atlanta Motel v. GeorgiaKatzenbach v. McClung
Desegregation - Sweatt v. Painter (1950)

Heman Sweatt waiting in line at UT

Prints & Photographs Collection, Heman Sweatt file, The Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Selected Case Files

Docket Sheet

Bench Memorandum

April 1, 1950, memorandum to Justice Clark from law clerk

Draft of per curium opinion dismissing on jurisdictional grounds

Memorandum from Justice Clark to other justices sitting in conference on the case

Draft opinion from Chief Justice Vinson to Justice Clark

Four years before the Supreme Court issued its momentous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Court addressed the issue of racial segregation in public universities. In 1946, an African-American named Heman Sweatt applied for admission to the University of Texas School of Law. His application was rejected because he was black. With the assistance of the NAACP, Sweatt filed suit and the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that it was a violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law to deny admission on the basis of race. The Court ordered that Sweatt be admitted to the school.


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