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Revista Direito GV

versão On-line ISSN 2317-6172


ROMANELLI, Sandro Luís Tomás Ballande  e  TOMIO, Fabrício Ricardo de Limas. SUPREME COURT AND RACIAL SEGREGATION IN THE COLD WAR MILLS. Rev. direito GV [online]. 2017, vol.13, n.1, pp.204-235. ISSN 2317-6172.

This paper aims to describe American foreign-policy influences in the United States Supreme Court’s ruling Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), showing evidence that the Court took U. S. Government’s foreign-policy into account, although without textually mentioning it. Taking detailed analysis of two race related previous cases (Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1856 and Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896), we believe we are able to demonstrate that the 1954 Supreme Court’s motivation to overrule its binding precedents and to declare school segregation unconstitutional was directly influenced by United States foreign-policy interests to improve the country’s international image towards racial inclusion, opposing Soviet Union’s widely spread anti-American propaganda during the Cold War. In that context, relying on cases Briefs and Newspapers headlines from the 50’s, we claim that Brown case should not be reviewed only as a classic example of Supreme Court’s activism in counter-majoritarian context, but otherwise, the case could be understood as an example of government driven interests that pushed the Court to that decision.

Palavras-chave : Judicial Review; U. S. Supreme Court; racial segregation; Cold War; judicial activism.

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