Equal Protection and Affirmative Action

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

Case background and primary source documents concerning the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education. Dealing with the principle of Equal Protection, this lesson asks students to assess the role played by the Court as the protector of individual rights against the tyranny of the majority.

Founding Principles

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Equal Protection

The principle of equal justice under law means that every individual is equal to every other person in regards to natural rights and treatment before the law. There are no individuals or groups who are born with the right to rule over others.

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Equality

Every individual is equal to every other person in regards to natural rights and treatment before the law.

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Federalism

The people delegate certain powers to the national government, while the states retain other powers; and the people, who authorize the states and national government, retain all freedoms not delegated to the governing bodies.

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Liberty

Except where authorized by citizens through the Constitution, the government does not have the authority to limit freedom.

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