Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



It is the thesis of this article that the Supreme Court, regardless of its decision for or against the state laws, had the judicial ability and jurisdiction to render the opinion in the Desegregation Case of 1954. A distinction is drawn here between the judicial power to decide a case regardless of any attendant consequences, and the reasons given for that decision. When reasons which were supposedly valid seventy years ago are now rejected, there is nothing illogical in this rejection so long as the Court still adheres to the identical procedure used earlier; but when the substance within the procedure has changed drastically then the procedure, still the same, must reflect, as an end result, this change. In other words, the decision may have been wrong, the opinion's reasoning may have been fallacious and even improper in the material it used, and the Justices may have been biased and emotional, and yet this does not detract from their ability to decide and opine as they did.