Sipuel v. Board of Regents of University of Oklahoma
Decided on Jan. 13, 1948; 332 US 631


I. ISSUES II. CASE SUMMARY III. AMICI CURIAE IV. DECISION V. WIN OR LOSS?
I. ISSUES:

A. Issues Discussed: Racial discrimination

B. Legal Question Presented:

Can the State University of Oklahoma deny admission to Petitioner based on her race?

II. CASE SUMMARY:

A. Background:

"On January 14, 1946, the petitioner, a Negro, concededly qualified to receive the professional legal education offered by the State, applied for admission to the School of Law of the University of Oklahoma, the only institution for legal education supported and maintained by the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma. Petitioner's application for admission was denied, solely because of her color.

Petitioner then made application for a writ of mandamus in the District Court of Cleveland County, Oklahoma, [to order the University to admit Petitioner]. The writ of mandamus was refused, and the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma affirmed the judgment of the District Court."

The US Supreme Court reversed.

B. Counsel of Record:
ACLU Side
(Petitioner/Appellant)
Opposing Side
(Respondent/Appellee)
Unavailable Unavailable
C. The Arguments:
ACLU Side
(Petitioner/Appellant)
Opposing Side
(Respondent/Appellee)
 Unavailable Unavailable
III. AMICI CURIAE:
ACLU Side
(Petitioner/Appellant)
Opposing Side
(Respondent/Appellee)
Messrs. Thurgood Marshall, of New York City, and Amos Hall, of Tulsa, Okl., for petitioner. Messrs. Fred Hansen, of Oklahoma City, Okl., and Maurice H. Merrill, of Norman, Okl., for respondents.
IV. THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION:

"The petitioner is entitled to secure legal education afforded by a state institution. To this time, it has been denied her although during the same period many white applicants have been afforded legal education by the State. The State must provide it for her in conformity with the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and provide it as soon as it does for applicants of any other group."

The US Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.

Justice Vote: 9 Pro vs. 0 Con

  • Jackson, R. Pro
  • Vinson, F. Pro
  • Reed, S. Pro
  • Burton, H. Pro
  • Murphy, F. Pro
  • Rutledge, W. Pro
  • Black, H. Pro
  • Douglas, W. Pro
  • Frankfurter, F. Pro
  • V. A WIN OR LOSS FOR THE ACLU?

    The ACLU, as amicus curiae, urged reversal of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma; the Supreme Court in a per curiam decision reversed in a 9-0 vote, giving the ACLU an apparent win.