McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (1950)
- District Court 1948
- After the Sipuel case, McLaurin was admitted to Oklahoma University Law School but only on a segregated basis, isolating him from other students. He had been granted equality in every way except segregation itself. Did that isolation cause him to receive an inferior education?
- Marshall argued, “they can build an exact duplicate but if it is segregated it is unequal.” 
- Attorney generals of eleven former confederate states filed an amicus brief which warned the justices that Southern whites do not “want their women folk in intimate social contact with Negro men.” (Irons 57)
- Vinson opinion:
o In both cases the Court carefully avoided inserting itself into the fiercely defended social arrangements of the South. It also wanted to protect its own pro-segregation precedents. So the decision was narrowly worded to apply to graduate instruction only. 
o The Court insisted that equality of educational opportunity included "those qualities which are incapable of measurement but which make for greatness in a law school.” 
- The reputation of the school, student access to faculty, the influence of alumni, student interaction in classes. All of these intangible aspects of education are essential to the quality of education. 
- Vinson did not assert that these qualities could not be present in a separate school- if it had existed-- Plessy was still the law.

o The Court ordered Sweatt’s entry to law school and ordered that McLaurin no longer be isolated on the University of Oklahoma campus, but it avoided use of the word ‘segregation’. Equality had to be real or separation was not constitutionally tolerable. And if separate facilities were not available, harassments or restrictions within the bi-racial school were not allowable.