A Guide to the United States vs. State of Texas, Case #5281, Records, 1971.
In the court case United States v. Texas, known by its docket number Civil Order 5281, resulted in the largest series of desegregation orders in legal history. In 1970, the ruling gave Chief Judge William Wayne Justice the authority to order the Texas Education Agency to assume responsibility for overseeing desegregation in Texas public schools and institutions. The case originated in the Johnson administration in the 1960s when the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare investigated allegations of discrimination in several small Texas school districts. Judge Justice used this case to issue a series of orders to end discrimination in public schools by means of specific orders, guidelines, and mandatory annual reviews.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit confirmed Justice’s ruling, but removed his authority to issue orders to districts that were or would be under the jurisdiction of other federal courts in Texas. Justice attempted to expand this order in 1982 to alleged discrimination against Mexican Americans in Gregory-Portland Independent School District. Enforcement of these orders became sporadic at best by the early 1990s.
Kemerer, Frank R. “United States v. Texas.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed May 26, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jru02.
The United States vs. State of Texas, Case #5281 Records, 1971, is comprised of an exhibits photograph album, suits, briefs, and opinions filed in other courts that affected the case. The collection also includes exhibits of the plaintiff, defendant, and government.
This collection is open for research use.
These records are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.
Guide to the United States vs. State of Texas, Case #5281, Records, 1971, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers