Interview with Paul Wilson
QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

OK, MR. WILSON… COMING UP TO THIS FIRST QUESTION AND UH, I'D LIKE YOU TO GIVE US, TO DESCRIBE THE LOWER COURT'S FINDINGS FOR US. I MEAN I KNOW YOU DIDN'T ARGUE IT, BUT, WHAT WAS THE BASIS OF THE ARGUMENT IN THAT CASE, AND THE FINDING OF THE COURT?

Paul Wilson:

Well there were two approaches on the part of the defendants, because there were two defendants. The State nominally was a defendant, and its position was simply to deny the unconstitutionality of the law which permitted boards of education and cities of the first class in Kansas to maintain separate schools in the elementary schools only. And uh, the argument was made by the state that precedent sanctioned the law that the legislature of Kansas had passed. The position of the Topeka Board of Education was first, that the law was not unconstitutional, and secondly, that the schools in Topeka provided for black and for white children, were of equal quality, insofar as the equipment, teachers, libraries, and the like, were concerned. And um, of course, the uh, attack was made on the law and on the practice of the Topeka Board of Education that, even though the schools might be of equal quality, the fact of separation uh deprived the segregated group of equal protection of the laws. The uh, three judge District Court, sitting in Topeka, made the finding that segregation did have an adverse effect upon the uh, opportunity of the segregated group to learn, that it gave them the sense of inferiority, but still, in view of the precedents, both in Kansas and in the federal courts, the District Court decided there had been no denial of equal protection of the laws.