University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the United States vs. State of Texas, Case #5281, Records, 1971.



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Justice, William Wayne, 1920-2009
Title: United States vs. State of Texas, Case #5281, Records
Dates: 1971
Abstract: The 1970 court case where William Wayne Justice, chief judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ordered the Texas Education Agency to assume responsibility for desegregating Texas public schools. Frequently named by its docket number, Civil Order 5281
Extent: 20 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

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.

Source:

Kemerer, Frank R. “United States v. Texas.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed May 26, 2010. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jru02.


Scope and Contents

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.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

These records are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.


Index Terms

Persons
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
Justice, William Wayne, 1920-2009.
Subjects (Organizations)
United States. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
United States. Department of Justice.
United States. District Court (Texas: Eastern District)
Texas. Court of Appeals (5th)
Texas Education Agency. State Dept. of Education
Subjects
Prisons.-- Texas -- Historys
Segregation in education -- Texas -- Historys
School integration -- Texas -- History -- Sources
Places
Marshall (Tex.)
Texas.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Guide to the United States vs. State of Texas, Case #5281, Records, 1971, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

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

 

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