Justice Clarence Thomas Rebukes Brown v. Board Ruling a Week After 70th Anniversary


Associate Justice Clarence Thomas poses for a photo at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 7, 2022. Thomas has told attendees at a judicial conference that he and his wife have faced "nastiness and lies" over the last several years. He also decried Washington, D.C., as a "hideous place." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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Despite the recent marking of the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issued a strong rebuke of the decision, arguing that the court overstepped its authority by banning racial segregation in schools. 

In a concurrence opinion allowing South Carolina to retain a congressional map alleged to discriminate against Black voters, Thomas criticized the Brown ruling for its “boundless view of equitable remedies” and the “extravagant uses of judicial power” to end segregation. He contended that federal courts possess limited power to grant equitable relief and should not invent new remedies.

This stance comes as American public schools are becoming increasingly segregated, disproportionately impacting Black and Latino students who face resource shortages.

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