- Washington, DC District Court
- Rather than citing unequal facilities, James Nasbrit (NAACP) chose
to use a new strategy"
o cites the 5th Amendment’s 'due process clause' as justification for overturning
Plessy, arguing that the liberty of black students is unduly constrained by segregation laws.
o He bases his case upon the fact of segregation itself: the burden for proving a reasonable basis or public purpose for segregation was on the
shoulders of district's lawyers.
o He cited the forced relocation of Japanese-Americans during WWII as an emergency/temporary measure justified by a pressing public necessity- not racial antagonism (Hugo Black in
Kometsu v. United States).
o Nasbrit argued that lacking any emergency rationale for segregating black students in Washington, the congressional legislation mandating segregation were in fact “bills of attainder” inflicting punishment without a judicial trial.
- The Court recognized the district’s argument that the 1850 legislation mandating segregation had not punished colored children but had sought to extend educational opportunities to them for the first time.