Robert L. Carter, a federal judge who helped form the case against segregation in the historic Brown Vs. Board Of Education Supreme Court trial has died at age 94 after complications from a stroke.
Carter was part of Thurgood Marshall’s NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund as a lawyer and helped win the historic 1954 court decision, Brown Vs. The Board Of Education that ended legal segregation in the American school system.
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Carter’s well-honed argument that the segregation of public schools was unconstitutional on its face became the Supreme Court’s own conclusion in Brown. The decision swept away half a century of legal precedent that the South had used to justify its “separate but equal” doctrine.
Mr. Carter and his underpaid, overworked colleagues at the Legal Defense and Educational Fund argued before the court that the South’s schools rarely offered anything like equal opportunities to African-American children. But that was beside the point in any case, they said. Segregation itself, they argued, was so damaging to black children that it should be abolished, on the ground that it was contrary to the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal rights to all citizens.