Gaines v. Canada

305 U.S. 337 (1938)

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Gaines v. Canada

United States Supreme Court
305 U.S. 337 (1938)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD
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Facts

Lloyd Gaines (plaintiff), a Black citizen of Missouri, was qualified to attend the law school at the University of Missouri. However, that university was reserved for white students only, and Gaines was denied admission on account of his race. There was no in-state law school for Blacks. Missouri law permitted the state to fulfill its equal-protection obligations by arranging and paying for Black students to study at certain out-of-state law schools. Gaines wished to attend the Missouri law school because it was prestigious in the view of the state’s residents and he intended to practice law in Missouri, not out of state. Gaines sued relevant state officials (defendants), seeking admission to the Missouri law school. The trial court found that the out-of-state law schools, which accepted Black students, provided a substantially equivalent legal education as that afforded to white students within the state and thus, decided the case in the state’s favor. Gaines appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hughes, C.J.)

Dissent (McReynolds, J.)

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