17 Thursday Apr 2014
A month today sees the 60th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s 1954 landmark ruling in Brown v Board of Education, in which the Court declared racially segregated schools to be unconstitutional. To mark this anniversary, South Carolina has unveiled a life-sized monument to honour Judge Waties Waring in the garden of its federal courthouse in Charleston. The federal judge issued a fiery dissent in 1951 in Briggs v Elliott, the first case that challenged racial segregation in schools, and this dissent formed the foundation of the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown a few years later. Judge Waring’s work also includes introducing black jurors to juries in Charleston and mandating equal pay for black and white teachers. 60 years on, the critical work of Waring is ongoing, which is highlighted by several recent cases from supreme courts around the world in which individuals’ civil rights have been upheld.