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Case Name Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board SD-LA-0001
Docket / Court 3630 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Education
School Desegregation
Attorney Organization NAACP Legal Defense Fund
U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
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 ... read more >
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)

Greg Margolis - 02/24/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Busing
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitor/Master
Preliminary relief granted
Student assignment
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Disparate Treatment
Education
Racial segregation
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Orleans Parish
State of Louisiana
Plaintiff Description African-American school children in the Orleans Parish school system, New Orleans, Louisiana, by and through their parents
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NAACP Legal Defense Fund
U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1956 - 1975
Filing Year 1952
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board: The Second Battle of New Orleans, Chronicles of the Case and the Judge
Loyola Law Review
Date: Summer 2015
By: James E. Wright III
Citation: 61 Loy. L. Rev. 135 2015
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board and the Desegregation of New Orleans Public Schools
Federal Judicial Center
Date: 2005
By: Davison M. Douglas (College of William and Mary Faculty)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  New Orleans Public School Desegregation
Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association
Date: Winter 1976
By: Mary Lee Muller (University of Wisconsin Student)
Citation: Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Winter, 1976), pp. 69-88
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion (138 F.Supp. 336) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/15/1956
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (138 F.Supp. 337) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/15/1956
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (242 F.2d 156)
SD-LA-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/01/1957
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (252 F.2d 253)
SD-LA-0001-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/13/1958
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (356 U.S. 969)
SD-LA-0001-0021.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/26/1958
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (163 F.Supp. 701) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/01/1958
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (187 F.Supp. 42) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/27/1960
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (364 U.S. 803)
SD-LA-0001-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/01/1960
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (188 F.Supp. 916) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/30/1960
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (365 U.S. 500)
SD-LA-0001-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/12/1960
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (81 S.Ct. 260)
SD-LA-0001-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/12/1960
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (190 F.Supp. 861) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/21/1960
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (191 F.Supp. 871) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/03/1961
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (194 F.Supp. 182) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/04/1961
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (367 U.S. 908)
SD-LA-0001-0023.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/19/1961
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (368 U.S. 11)
SD-LA-0001-0020.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/16/1961
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (204 F.Supp. 568) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/03/1962
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (205 F.Supp. 893) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/23/1962
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (308 F.2d 491)
SD-LA-0001-0018.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/06/1962
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (230 F.Supp. 509) (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0019.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/18/1963
Source: Westlaw
Judges Borah, Wayne G. (Fifth Circuit, E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0004
Christenberry, Herbert William (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0004 | SD-LA-0001-0009 | SD-LA-0001-0011 | SD-LA-0001-0012 | SD-LA-0001-0014 | SD-LA-0001-0015
Ellis, Frank Burton (E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0017 | SD-LA-0001-0019
Rives, Richard Taylor (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
SD-LA-0001-0009 | SD-LA-0001-0011 | SD-LA-0001-0012 | SD-LA-0001-0014 | SD-LA-0001-0015
Tuttle, Elbert Parr (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
SD-LA-0001-0006 | SD-LA-0001-0007
Wisdom, John Minor (Fifth Circuit)
SD-LA-0001-0018
Wright, James Skelly (D.C. Circuit, E.D. La.)
SD-LA-0001-0004 | SD-LA-0001-0005 | SD-LA-0001-0008 | SD-LA-0001-0009 | SD-LA-0001-0011 | SD-LA-0001-0012 | SD-LA-0001-0014 | SD-LA-0001-0015 | SD-LA-0001-0016

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