During the October 1952 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Court heard oral argument in five cases involving attacks under the Fourteenth Amendment upon the practice of segregating Negroes in public schools in various states. On June 8, 1953, the Supreme Court restored the cases to the docket and assigned them for reargument on October 12, 1953, which date was later extended to December 7, 1953, at the request of the Attorney General of the United States. The Court requested counsel to discuss particularly five questions.' The first two were: 1. What evidence is there that the Congress which submitted and the State legislatures and conventions which ratified the Fourteenth Amendment contemplated or did not contemplate, understood or did not understand, that it would abolish segregation in public schools? 2. If neither the Congress in submitting nor the States in ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment understood that compliance with it would require immediate abolition of segregation in public schools, was it nevertheless the understanding of the framers of the Amendment

a. that future Congresses might, in the exercise of their power under section 5 of the Amendment, abolish such segregation, or

b. that it would be within the judicial power, in light of future conditions, to construe the amendment as abolishing such segregation of its own force? In order to accomplish the large research task necessary to answer these questions, counsel for the Negro petitioners secured assistance from persons in each of the thirty-six states which ratified the Fourteenth Amendment. It was requested that the research cover such facts as: whether or not public schools existed in the state at the time the Amendment was ratified; what treatment was accorded Negroes under the statutes and constitutions at that time; what legislative history there was concerning the actual ratification of the Amendment by the state; and the situation with respect to Negroes immediately after the state ratified the Amendment. The writers undertook to answer these questions for the State of Nebraska and the following is the result of their research.

I. Introduction

II. Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment

III. Constitution of Nebraska

IV. School Laws

V. Conclusion