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Cooper vs Aaron
Transcript of Cooper vs Aaron
Cooper v. Aaron(1958)
Are state government officials bound to comply with Supreme Court rulings and court orders based upon the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution?
"The constitutional rights of children not to be discriminated against in school admission on grounds of race or color declared by this court in the Brown case can neither be nullified openly and directly by state legislators or state executive or judicial officers nor nullified indirectly by them through evasive schemes for segregation whether attempted ‘ingeniously or ingenuously."
The Arkansas governor and state legislature were displeased with the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education and refused to comply with court orders to implement desegregation of the state’s schools. The governor and legislature insisted that state government officials had no duty to comply with court orders based on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the constitution.
The school board of Little Rock, Arkansas had sought to implement a program of desegregation. Due to resistance by the state government and public hostility, however, the presence of federal troops was necessary to enable nine black children to attend the school.
The school board petitioned the district court to suspend court orders to implement the desegregation program for a period of two and a half years, claiming that the disruption made it impossible to maintain a sound education program.
In February 1958, a local federal court approved the school board’s request to remove the African American students and postpone integration. Fought by the NAACP, the case made its way first to a Court of Appeals and then to the United States Supreme Court.
Five months after the integration crisis involving the Little Rock Nine, members of the school board filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, urging suspension of its plan of desegregation.
They argued that public hostility to desegregation and that the opposition of Governor Orval Faubus and the state legislature created an intolerable and chaotic situation.
postponing plans for desegregation in good faith and the interest of preserving public peace would violate black students' rights under the Equal Protection Clause(14th Amendment)
This case was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, which held that the states were bound by the Court's decisions and they have to enforce them even if the states disagreed with them.