Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958), was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, which denied the Arkansas School Board the right to delay desegregation for 30 months. By ruling of the Supreme Court, it was now deemed unconstitutional to have segregation in public schools as it violated African American’s 14. amendment rights to equal protection. The decision of the Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas to dispatch units of the Arkansas National Guard to the school grounds in order to block efforts of desegregation. 1956 and enrolled nine students of excellent academic standing (later dubbed the Little Rock Nine) in Little Rock Central High School. 462 2 Under directive to district courts to require prompt and reasonable start toward desegregation of public schools and to take such action as was necessary to bring about end of Cooper v. Aaron-suggested how much African American agency has been essential to attaining equal constitutional guarantees of individual opportuni-* Tony A. Freyer is University Research Professor of History and Law at the Universi-ty of Alabama. Statement of the Facts: In 1954, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decided the famous Brown v. Board of Education decision, which held that racial segregation in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958) Opinion announced September 29, 1958. It also allowed for students to transfer to schools outside of their assigned school zone. Fifty years ago, the United States Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Cooper v.Aaron.This opinion marked the beginning of the end for resistance to government-enforced public school desegregation, which Brown v.Board of Education had earlier mandated. all states are bound by the rulings made by the Supreme Court as they are the supreme law of the land. The constitutional provision to this case represents that no agency of the State, of the officers or agents by whom its powers are used, shall deny to any person within its authority the equal protection of the laws (Justia.com, 2016). Gillman, Howard, Mark A. Graber, and Keith E. Whittington. Available at: https://books.google.com/books/about/Little_Rock_on_Trial.html?id=rdiPAAAAMAAJ, American Constitutional Law: Sources of Power and Restraint, Volume I. , Suzanne Jeans Publisher, 2012. On September 7, 1957, the District Court denied a petition by the School Board requesting an order for a temporary suspension of the program. The District Court granted this request. Cooper v. Aaron. Opinion announced September 29, 1958. Available at: https://books.google.com/books/about/American_Constitutional_Law_Sources_of_P.html?id=lZtSh61ljxgC, 14th Amendment of U.S. Constitution (1868). Opinion of the Court by the Chief Justice and Justices Black, Frankfurter, Douglas, Burton, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, and Whittaker. The suit was challenged by Aaron (defendant), representing African American children in Arkansas. In Cherokee Nation, the Supreme Court ruled it lacked the jurisdiction to review the claims of an Indian nation in the U.S. , the court justified their decision by declaring that the judiciary held supreme authority in regards to the interpretation of the Constitution. This decision established the fundamental idea that the Supreme Court has the final say in the interpretation of the of the law of the Constitution. The legislation passed by the District Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas that struck down the desegregation process put in place after the, Department of Conservation and Development v. Tate (1955), Pennsylvania v. Board of Directors of City Trusts of Philadelphia (1957). Although many members of the white community accepted the Blossom Plan, the Little Rock branch of the NAACP was not satisfied and tried multiple times to renegotiate. ur kind of society cannot endure if the controlling authority of the Law as derived from the Constitution is not to be the tribunal specially charged with the duty of ascertaining and declaring what is “the supreme Law of the Land.”” Justice Frankfurter was appalled by the actions of Governor Faubus and believed they went against the “spirit of our Nation” because “the power of the State was used not to sustain law, but as an instrument for thwarting law.”  His justification for their ruling was based less on the 14th amendment and more on the duty- and the sanctity of that duty- of state governments to uphold the law and abide by the rulings of the Supreme Court. The same soldiers who had come to aid the protestors were now forced to fight against them. COOPER v. AARON AND THE FACES OF FEDERALISM ASHUTOSH BHAGWAT* The story of Cooper v. Aaron1 and the Little Rock desegregation crisis has many dimensions, one of the most important of which relates to federalism. The Supreme Court was unanimous in the decision that their interpretation of the US Constitution is the “law of the land” and should be followed the way that they interpret it. 1401, 3 L.Ed.2d 5, 3 L.Ed.2d 19, 79 Ohio Law Abs. The Court of Appeals did not act on the petition for a stay, but, on August 18, 1958, after convening in special session on August 4 and hearing the appeal, reversed the District Court decision. While the Little Rock School Board planned to carry out the intended plan of desegregation, they were continuously challenged by the governor and state officials. Not only did it infringe on the people’s 14th amendment rights to equal protection, the state’s willingness to defy the ruling of the Supreme Court was in direct opposition of the judicial supremacy ruling of Marbury v Madison. Cooper v. Aaron: Summary, Decision & Importance Next Lesson. In particular, the consensus understanding is that Little Rock was a story of federalism gone spectacularly wrong. This case was seen as being a great eye-opener for many states thinking about challenging the plans of desegregation. The judgement was dated June 20, 1958. The Justices state clearly that, “the controlling legal principles are plain. The Brown v. Furthermore, states must work to enforce these decisions even if the they do not agree with them. Cooper v Aaron was a unanimous decision, there were no dissenting opinions. Is the Little Rock ISD bound by court orders mandating desegregation? Cooper v. Aaron The events in the Cooper v. Aaron happen right after Brown v. Board of Education. Bernick, Evan. In a 1955 follow-up decision (Brown v. 1. decision where segregation of schools was deemed unconstitutional. Even if those states disagree, they have no authority to create legislation that goes against the federal law because they are bound to it. 1957, as the Little Rock Nine were attempting to enter Little Rock Central High School for the first time as students, they were met by the forceful presence of the Arkansas National Guard as well as many segregationist protesters. These plans continued to be thwarted because of the actions of the the governor and state officials. The Supreme Court's Brown decision of 1954, holding that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal and therefore violated the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause, precipitated the Little Rock School Board's efforts to comply. Although it was approved by the District Courts, the respondents brought the case to the Court of Appeals in order to reverse the decision. Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958) 78 S.Ct. The case was first brought to court when a group of African American plaintiffs believed that the School Board was not moving at “all deliberate speed” in order to desegregate the schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. No. This case was seen as being a great eye-opener for many states thinking about challenging the plans of desegregation. Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1 (1958), was a landmark case in which the Little Rock school board tried to stop school desegregation. Furthermore, states must work to enforce these decisions even if the they do not agree with them. Available at: https://books.google.com/books/about/American_Constitutionalism.html?id=NbavMQEACAAJ&hl=en, Little Rock on Trial: Cooper v Aaron and desegregation. 2d 5 (1958) Synopsis of Rule of Law. These nine students were told that the high school was “off limits” to any colored students. Although the Supreme Court did not offer any advice on how to go about the desegregation process, they did demand that it be done swiftly. The command of the Fourteenth Amendment is that no “State” shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”, Justice Frankfurter wrote a concurring opinion in which he further argues the importance of judicial supremacy and expresses his contempt for the decisions made by Arkansas State Legislators. This documentary explores the Supreme Court cases Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and Cooper v. Aaron (1958) that defined our understanding of the role of the judiciary. , 358 U.S. 1, 78 S. Ct. 1401, 3 L. Ed. This decision established the fundamental idea that the Supreme Court has the final say in the interpretation of the of the law of the Constitution. 2d 5 (1958), Available at : https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8453213781987973736&q=cooper+v+aaron&hl, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nine, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=741. After an investigation by the United States Attorney General and hearings, the District Court found out the the School Board’s plan had been obstructed by the Governor through the use of force. While the Little Rock School Board planned to carry out the intended plan of desegregation, they were continuously challenged by the governor and state officials. With references to Marbury v Madison, the court justified their decision by declaring that the judiciary held supreme authority in regards to the interpretation of the Constitution. September 11, 1958 - Description: U.S. Reports Volume 358; August Special Term, 1958; Cooper et al., Members of the Board of Directors of the Little Rock, Arkansas, Independent School District, et al. Many different methods of desegregation were discussed but in the end, the Blossom Plan, proposed by superintendent Virgil Blossom, was to be set in motion. Supreme Court of the United States . Justice Frankfurter wrote a concurring opinion in which he further argues the importance of judicial supremacy and expresses his contempt for the decisions made by Arkansas State Legislators. Even though Cooper v Aaron was a unanimous, landmark case, it was not the last desegregation case seen in court. How to increase brand awareness through consistency; Dec. 11, 2020. In Arkansas, the Little Rock School Board initially agreed to accept the Supreme Court’s decision and planned to start desegregating schools by the fall of 1957. , University Press of Kansas, 2007. to permit the School Board to petition this Court for certiorari. The School Board suggested that the African American students already in attendance would withdraw from the school and return to their segregated high schools and the program would be suspended for two and a half years. This addition set up huge limits to the effects of the desegregation ruling by allowing white students to purposefully congregate in one school over the other. In an unanimous decision by the Supreme Court, it was found that the efforts made by the school board and the district courts of Arkansas to resist plans to desegregate schools was unconstitutional. This then led it to be brought to the Supreme Court. The Cooper v. Aaron litigation went through several stages. VI, Cl.2; Location: Little Rock, Arkansas. The Justices begin the opinion by stating, “As this case reaches us, it raises questions of the highest importance to the maintenance of our federal system of government. Top 10 blogs in 2020 for remote teaching and learning; Dec. 11, 2020 Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S.C. In deciding this, the Warren … By ruling of the Supreme Court, it was now deemed unconstitutional to have segregation in public schools as it violated African American’s 14th amendment rights to equal protection. This plan called for the slow integration of one high school, Little Rock Central, followed by the opening of a few junior high schools to a small number of black students over the next few years. 1958, the Little Rock school board filed a lawsuit in the Arkansas district court requesting an immediate end to the desegregation process. In particular, the consensus understanding is that Little Rock was a story of federalism gone spectacularly wrong. The School Board’s plan was to begin desegregating the high school levels first and then the lower level schools second. The Warren Court (1957-1958). COOPER v. AARON(1958) No. Facts. Citation358 U.S. 1, 78 S. Ct. 1401, 3 L. Ed. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land; Supreme Court Cases are binding upon all the States. COOPER v. AARON AND THE FACES OF FEDERALISM ASHUTOSH BHAGWAT* The story of Cooper v. AaronI and the Little Rock desegregation crisis has many dimensions, one of the most important of which relates to federalism. In the unanimous decision signed by each Supreme Court Justice, the Court ruled that the state and state officials must follow the Court’s interpretation of the Constitution because theirs is the “supreme law of the land”. Marbury v Madison went from a case that established judicial review to a case that granted judicial supremacy to the Supreme Court. Pending the filing of the School Board’s petition for certiorari, the respondents, on August 23, 1958, applied to Mr. Justice Whittaker, as Circuit Justice for the Eighth Circuit, to stay the order of the Court of Appeals withholding its own mandate, and also to stay the District Court’s judgment. Following that decision, the Little Rock School Board and School Superintendent began to implement a … 116 Argued: September 11, 1958 Decided: September 12, 1958. The same soldiers who had come to aid the protestors were now forced to fight against them. The second timeline as well as the important subsequent cases could use some elaboration. In the landmark decision of Cooper v Aaron, the Supreme Court asserted that their rulings of the Constitution is binding on all government actors.The case followed the Brown v Board of Education decision where segregation of schools was deemed unconstitutional. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. COOPER V. AARON. While the Little Rock School Board planned to carry out the intended plan of desegregation, they were continuously challenged by the governor and state officials. Aaron v. Cooper, 243 F.2d 361; Thomason v. Cooper, 254 F.2d 808 (April 28, 1958); Faubus v. United States, 254 F.2d 797 (April 28, 1958). With references to. The primary defendant in the case was local school board president William G. Cooper. The Little Rock school board, represented by Cooper (plaintiff), brought suit in federal district court seeking a postponement of the desegregation plan in the state due to the uneasy circumstances present. A state governor wishes to have the state legislature make it legal to segregate children in school based on his or her race. v. Aaron et al. As in Cooper v. Aaron (1958), the Court asserted its primacy in matters of constitutional interpretation and struck down a governmental act that challenged that primacy. Cooper v. Aaron Issues: State Rights, National Supremeacy. 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