On This Date in Legal History

On November 9, 1938, Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada was argued before the United States Supreme Court.  The case arose after an African American student, Lloyd Gaines, was denied admission to the University of Missouri’s School of Law solely on the basis of his race.  At the time there was no law school for African American students in Missouri, so Gaines would’ve had to study in an adjacent state.  NAACP lawyer Charles Houston argued that Missouri had to build a law school for African American students, equal to the school for white students, or admit Gaines.

Attorney Charles Hamilton Houston

Attorney Charles Hamilton Houston

The Supreme Court agreed that “the State was bound to furnish [Lloyd Gaines] within its borders facilities for legal education substantially equal to those which the State there afforded for persons of the white race, whether or not other negroes sought the same opportunity.”  You can read the entire decision, authored by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, at https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/305/337.

About Tina Nelson
Tina Nelson

Tina Nelson is an attorney and mom. She created the LAWSUIT™ board game to teach her three children about the law. The game was an instant success. Copyrights and a patent were obtained, and Professional Games, Inc. was born. Professional Games, Inc. created this blog to educate and keep its friends and customers regularly updated about our American legal system.
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