Plessy v. Ferguson
1896. "Separate but equal" facilities are legal
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
1954. "Separate but equal" doctrine is unconstitutional. Overturned Plessy.
A second Brown v. Board case a year later (1955) determined that desegregation should occur with "all due process and deliberate speed" in response to southern states' refusal to integrate.
Heart of Atlanta Hotel v. United States
1964. Places of "public accommodation" like a hotel may not discriminate, per the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Katzenbach v. McClung
1964. The Commerce Clause giving Congress the power to regulate interstate trade makes the Civil Rights Act (1964) apply to almost all private businesses.
Regents of California v. Bakke
1978. Quotas for racial minority acceptance in to colleges violate the Fourteenth Amendment and constitute reverse discrimination. However, taking race in to account is constitutional.
Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger
2003. Generally upheld Bakke. Similar cases involving a scoring system for acceptance in to the University of Michigan. Determined that a point-based system was too similar to using quotas, but that, again, race could be one of many factors.