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Attorneys for Brown v. Board of Education, May 17, 1954

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George E.C. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall and James M. Nabrit, congratulating each other, following the Supreme Court decision declaring segregation unconstitutional.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Associated Press, 17 May 1954


The U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, was bundled with four related cases and a decision was rendered on May 17, 1954. Three lawyers, Thurgood Marshall (center), chief counsel for the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund and lead attorney on the Briggs case, with George E. C. Hayes (left) and James M. Nabrit (right), attorneys for the Bolling case, are shown standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court congratulating each other after the Court’s decision declaring segregation unconstitutional. 

Source-Dependent Questions

  • The phrase "equal justice under law" is featured in this photograph. It was proposed by the architects planning the U.S. Supreme Court building and then approved by the justices in 1932. What does “equal justice under law” mean?
  • Since this court case happened in the U.S. Supreme Court, how many students in the United States does it impact?

Citation Information

"George E. C. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall, and James M. Nabrit congratulating each other on the Brown decision," Associated Press, 17 May 1954. Courtesy of Library of Congress