- Donald Gaines Murray sought entry to the University of Maryland Law School.
- To meet separate but equal standards, the state had built a junior college for the benefit of Negroes and had provided out of state scholarships for Negroes seeking degrees in subjects not available at Maryland’s colored colleges.
- Thurgood Marshall’s strategy:
|o Taft had left the door open to de-segregation in his
Gong Lum v. Rice decision: “Had the petitioner alleged that there was no colored school in Martha Lum’s neighborhood a different question would have been presented.”
o The separate part of the separate but equal argument had been legitimized by the Court several times before, but its position on cases where the facilities offered blacks were inarguably not equal had never been directly tested.
- June 25 1935: Judge Eugene O’Dunne of the Baltimore City Circuit Court issued a writ of mandamus ordering University of Maryland to admit Murray.
- January 1936 Maryland Court of Appeals:
o "Compliance with the Constitution cannot be deferred at the will of the state. Whatever system is adopted for legal education must furnish equality now.”