Cooper vs. Aaron: Court Rejects Request for Delay in Racial Integration of Arkansas School Hot

Cooper vs. Aaron: Court Rejects Request for Delay in Racial Integration of Arkansas School

Governor Orval E. Faubus

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Decided: Cooper vs. Aaron — The U.S. Supreme Court votes unamimously to reject a request to delay the racial integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The states are thus obligated to enforce the Court's decisions on desegregation whether they agreed with the decisions or not.

As evidence of the importance of this case, this was only the fifth time in the past 40 years that the Supreme Court has accepted and considered a case outside the usual meeting times.

The opinion, signed by every justice, says in part:

"The constitutional rights of respondents are not to be sacrificed or yielded to the violence and disorder which have followed upon the actions of the Governor and Legislature, and law and order are not here to be preserved by depriving the Negro children of their constitutional rights.

The constitutional rights of children not to be discriminated against in school admission on grounds of race or color declared by this Court in the Brown case can neither be nullified openly and directly by state legislators or state executives or judicial officers, nor nullified indirectly by them through evasive schemes for segregation whether attempted "ingeniously or ingenuously."...

No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his solemn oath to support it."

As a result of this ruling the Little Rock School Board announces that high schools will open and admit students of all races on September 15. Governor Faubus then signs recently passed segregationist laws, one of which authorizes him to close the schools in order to prevent desegregation — which he immediately announces.

Residents of Little Rock will vote to approve of this decision later this month, ensuring that the city's high schools cannot open if any black students attend.


Little Rock Nine Documentary

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