While it recognized some of the plaintiffs` claims, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court that heard the cases ruled in favor of the school boards. The plaintiffs then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On May 18, 1896, the Supreme Court issued a 7-1[a] decision against Plessy upholding the constitutionality of Louisiana`s railroad car separation laws.  In Brown II (1955), the Court held that the problems identified in Brown I required different local solutions. Chief Justice Warren assigned responsibility for implementing desegregation to local school boards and the courts that initially adjudicated school segregation cases. They were ordered to implement the principles adopted by the Supreme Court in Brown I. Warren called on municipalities to act immediately on the new principles and to comply fully with them “with due speed.” Plessy legitimized state laws establishing “racial” segregation in the South and gave impetus to other racial segregation laws. He also legitimized Northern laws that imposed “racial” segregation, as in the Boston school segregation case, which Justice Brown cited in his majority opinion.  The legislative gains made during the reconstruction era were erased by the “separate but equal” doctrine.
 The doctrine had also been strengthened by an 1875 Supreme Court decision that limited the federal government`s ability to intervene in state affairs and guaranteed Congress only the power to “deter states from acts of racial discrimination and segregation.”  The decision granted states principled legislative immunity in dealing with “racial” issues and guaranteed states the right to establish institutions of racial segregation and required that they be only equal.  Plessy then appealed to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which upheld the decision that Louisiana`s law was constitutional. Plessy erred in the U.S. Supreme Court, where Justice John Howard Ferguson was named in the case before the U.S. Supreme Court because he had been named in the Louisiana Supreme Court petition. Copies of the information and other proceedings before the District Criminal Court were attached to the application as evidence. In the conclusion, Warren wrote: “We conclude that in the field of public education, the doctrine of `separate but equal` has no place. Segregated educational institutions are inherently unequal; Segregation in public education is a denial of equal protection of laws. New Orleans historian Keith Weldon Medley, author of We As Freemen: Plessy v. Ferguson, The Fight Against Legal Segregation, said the words of Justice Harlan`s “Great Dissent” came from documents filed with the court by the “Citizens` Committee.”  May 18, 1896. This was an application for prohibition and certiorari, originally filed by erroneous plaintiff Plessy in the State Supreme Court against the Honourable John H.
Ferguson, a judge of the District Criminal Court of the Municipality of Orleans, essentially stated the following facts: When they met to decide the case, the Supreme Court justices realized that they were deeply divided on the issues raised. While most wanted to overthrow Plessy and declare segregation in public schools unconstitutional, they had various reasons for doing so. Unable to find a solution before June 1953 (the end of the Court`s mandate 1952-1953), the Tribunal decided to reconsider the case in December 1953. Meanwhile, Chief Justice Fred Vinson passed away and was replaced by Governor Earl Warren of California. After the case was heard again in 1953, Chief Justice Warren was able to do something his predecessor had failed to do, and that was get all justices to accept a unanimous decision declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional. On May 14, 1954, he delivered the opinion of the Tribunal and stated: “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of `separate but equal` has no place. Segregated educational institutions are inherently unequal. Harlan argued in his dissent that segregation was contrary to the constitutional principle of equality before the law: “The arbitrary separation of citizens on the basis of race on the public highway is a badge of servitude that is totally incompatible with civil liberty and equality before the law established by the Constitution.” he wrote. “This cannot be justified on any legal basis.” The case, known as Brown v. Board of Education, was actually the name given to five separate cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of segregation in public schools. These are Brown v.
Board of Education of Topeka, Briggs v. Elliot, Davis v. Board of Education of Prince Edward County (VA), Bolling v. Sharpe and Gebhart v. Ethel. Although the facts vary in each case, the main issue in each case has been the constitutionality of state-sponsored segregation in public schools. Once again, Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund handled these cases.