Board of Education of Oklahoma City Public Schools v. Dowell
United States Supreme Court
498 U.S. 237 (1991)
In 1961, Dowell (plaintiff), an African American student, along with other African American students sued the Board of Education of Oklahoma City Public Schools (defendant) to end de jure segregation in the public schools. In 1963, the district court found that the Board intentionally operated a segregated school system in the past and was currently operating such a system. The district court required the Board to take steps to desegregate its schools. In 1965, the district court found that the Board’s subsequent attempt to desegregate by using neighborhood zoning failed to remedy past segregation because residential segregation ultimately resulted in single-race schools. In 1972, still finding that previous efforts were not successful in remedying past segregation, the district court issued an injunctive decree ordering the Board to use busing to transport children of different races to different schools for the purpose of eliminating single-race schools. The Board challenged this desegregation plan in federal district court, and the court upheld the challenge and invalidated the plan. The court of appeals reversed, however, holding that the Board would be entitled to such relief only upon “nothing less than a clear showing of grievous wrong evoked by new and unforeseen conditions.” The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)
Dissent (Marshall, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.