Case: Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board

2:52-03630 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Filed Date: 1952

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1952, this school desegregation suit was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs, African-American school children by and through their parents, sued the defendant Orleans Parish School board to enjoin the operation of a segregated school district in Orleans Parish. The plaintiffs were represented by, among others, Thurgood Marshall (for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund). School desegregation efforts proceeded in Orleans Parish the face of vicious…

In 1952, this school desegregation suit was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs, African-American school children by and through their parents, sued the defendant Orleans Parish School board to enjoin the operation of a segregated school district in Orleans Parish. The plaintiffs were represented by, among others, Thurgood Marshall (for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund).

School desegregation efforts proceeded in Orleans Parish the face of vicious opposition primarily on the part of the Louisiana state legislature, which remained in staunch defiance of the repeated mandates to comply with the Court's decision in Brown. In the wake of Brown, the Louisiana legislature had passed numerous statutes that purported to reaffirm segregation on the state's schools.

The case initially came before Judge J. Skelly Wright, who ruled in 1956 that the Orleans Parish Schools were operating in violation of the Constitution. The state legislature initiated prolonged resistance, repeatedly passing measures aimed at nullifying the federal government's authority to mandate and impose desegregation. Judge Wright struck those measures down and ordered the desegregation of the school district.

On November 14, 1960, six-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first child to integrate -- an event that was later memorialized in Norman Rockwell's painting "The Problem We All Live With."

Later that year, the case reached the Supreme Court, which ruled per curiam that the state's attempts to nullify federal law were unconstitutional. United States v. Louisiana, 364 U.S. 500 (Dec. 12, 1960) (per curiam).

By 1962, the state's outright assault had largely subsided and the Board and the private plaintiffs negotiated with the district court (then through Judge Frank Ellis) on a plan to desegregate the district's schools.

In 1975, the district court (Judge Hubert W. Christianberry) ruled that the Orleans Parish schools had achieved unitary status.

Available Opinions

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 138 F.Supp. 336 (E.D. La. Feb. 15, 1956) (per curiam) (striking down statutes) (Wright, J.)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 138 F.Supp. 337 (E.D. La. Feb. 15, 1956) (granting injunctive relief)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 242 F.2d 156 (5th Cir. Mar. 1, 1957) (No. 16190), cert. denied by 354 U.S. 921 (1957) (affirming district court)

Orleans Parish School Board v. Bush, 252 F.2d 253 (5th Cir. Feb. 13, 1958), cert. denied by 356 U.S. 969 (1958) (denying appeal of preliminary injunction)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 163 F.Supp. 701 (E.D. La. July 1, 1958) (striking down LA statute)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 187 F.Supp. 42 (E.D. La. Aug. 27, 1960) (striking down LA statute)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 364 U.S. 803 (Sept. 1, 1960) (denying motion to vacate orders from district court)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 188 F.Supp. 916 (E.D. La. Nov. 30, 1960) (enjoining enforcement of all actions to block desegregation and denying defendants’ motion to vacate or stay efforts)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 190 F.Supp. 861 (E.D. La. Dec. 21, 1960) (per curiam) (striking down further legislative acts to block desegregation)

United States v. Louisiana, 364 U.S. 500 (Dec. 12, 1960) (per curiam) (striking down state’s efforts to nullify federal desegregation mandate)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 191 F.Supp. 871 (E.D. La. Mar. 3, 1961), aff’d sub nom Legislature of Louisiana v. United States, 367 U.S. 908 (June 19, 1961) (per curiam)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 194 F.Supp. 182 (E.D. La. May 4, 1961), aff’d sub nom Gremillion v. United States, 368 U.S. 11 (Oct. 16, 1961) (per curiam) (blocking further efforts by state to thwart desegregation efforts)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 204 F.Supp. 568 (E.D. La. Apr. 3, 1962)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 205 F.Supp. 893 (E.D. La. May 23, 1962) (Ellis, J.)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 308 F.2d 491 (5th Cir. Aug. 6, 1962)

Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, 230 F.Supp. 509 (E.D. La. May 18, 1963)

Summary Authors

Greg Margolis (2/24/2017)

People


Judge(s)

Borah, Wayne G. (Louisiana)

Brown, John Robert (Louisiana)

Christenberry, Herbert William (Louisiana)

Ellis, Frank Burton (Louisiana)

Rives, Richard Taylor (Alabama)

Tuttle, Elbert Parr (Georgia)

Wisdom, John Minor (Louisiana)

Wright, James Skelly (Louisiana)

Judge(s)

Borah, Wayne G. (Louisiana)

Brown, John Robert (Louisiana)

Christenberry, Herbert William (Louisiana)

Ellis, Frank Burton (Louisiana)

Rives, Richard Taylor (Alabama)

Tuttle, Elbert Parr (Georgia)

Wisdom, John Minor (Louisiana)

Wright, James Skelly (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

56-03630

Opinion

138 F.Supp. 337

Feb. 15, 1956

Feb. 15, 1956

Order/Opinion

56-03630

Opinion

138 F.Supp. 336

Feb. 15, 1956

Feb. 15, 1956

Order/Opinion

16190

Opinion

Orleans Parish School Board v. Bush

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

242 F.2d 156

March 1, 1957

March 1, 1957

Order/Opinion

16851

Opinion

Orleans Parish School Board v. Bush

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

252 F.2d 253

Feb. 13, 1958

Feb. 13, 1958

Order/Opinion

00979

Opinion

Orleans Parish School Board v. Bush

Supreme Court of the United States

356 U.S. 969

May 26, 1958

May 26, 1958

Order/Opinion

56-03630

Opinion

Bush v. Orleans School Board

163 F.Supp. 701

July 1, 1958

July 1, 1958

Order/Opinion

56-03630

10329

Opinion

187 F.Supp. 42

Aug. 27, 1960

Aug. 27, 1960

Order/Opinion

Opinion

Supreme Court of the United States

364 U.S. 803

Sept. 1, 1960

Sept. 1, 1960

Order/Opinion

56-03630

10329

10566

Opinion

Bush v. Orleans School Board

188 F.Supp. 916

Nov. 30, 1960

Nov. 30, 1960

Order/Opinion

Opinion

United States of America v. State of Louisiana

Supreme Court of the United States

365 U.S. 500

Dec. 12, 1960

Dec. 12, 1960

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 8, 2022, 3:19 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

School Desegregation

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1952

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

African-American school children in the Orleans Parish school system, New Orleans, Louisiana, by and through their parents

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Orleans Parish (Orleans), School District

State of Louisiana, State

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1956 - 1975

Content of Injunction:

Busing

Discrimination Prohibition

Monitor/Master

Preliminary relief granted

Student assignment

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Disparate Treatment

Education

Racial segregation

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

Type of Facility:

Government-run