Friday, February 13, 2009
As you may have heard, yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP. The NAACP has a far reaching legacy in Constitutional Law. Of course, the most obvious example is the litigation leading to Brown v. Board of Education and the reversal of the "separate but equal" doctrine. However, the NAACP also left its mark in cases such as Shelley v. Kraemer and Loving v. Virginia. Additionally, the organization was active in lobbying for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Finally, as a plaintiff, iin cases such as NAACP v. Alabama and NAACP v. Button, the NAACP expanded the boundaries of the First Amendment freedoms of political expression and association.
As Constitutional Law professors, it is incumbent upon us to take a moment to reflect on the constitutional legacy of this organization.