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10 Important Court Cases in College History

Most people don't think of colleges as litigious or important in the legal world, but the fact is that important court cases sometimes find their start in colleges. From affirmative action to the Fourteenth Amendment, colleges have had their part in major court case decisions in history. Here, we'll take a look at 10 of the most important ones that made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

  1. Dartmouth College v. Woodward: Dartmouth College v. Woodward considered whether a state legislature could change the charter of a college. The case determined whether Dartmouth would stay private or be forced to become a state school, changing the duties of the trustees and how they were selected. The court sided with Dartmouth, allowing the school to continue as a private college, as the school's original charter was a contract between the King of England and the trustees of Dartmouth.
  2. Berea College v. Kentucky: Berea College v. Kentucky paved the way for determining that segregated educational facilities were unconstitutional. Berea College educated African American and white students together, but the newly passed Day Law in Kentucky prohibited educating the two different groups together. The US Supreme Court upheld states' rights to prohibit private educational institutions chartered as corporations from admitting black and white students together. Although the decision stood, Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote a strongly worded dissent. The Day Law was eventually amended to allow voluntary integration.
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The folks at, many of whom are regular followers of Crimbrary, suggested this post to me. Tom


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