Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada

PETITIONER: Missouri ex rel. Lloyd Gaines
RESPONDENT: S.W. Canada, Registrar of the University of Missouri
LOCATION: University of Missouri School of Law

DOCKET NO.: 57
DECIDED BY: Hughes Court (1938-1939)
LOWER COURT:

ARGUED: Nov 09, 1938
DECIDED: Dec 12, 1938
GRANTED: Oct 10, 1938

ADVOCATES:
Charles H. Houston - for the petitioner
Fred L. Williams - for the respondent
William S. Hogsett - for the respondent
Sidney R. Redmond - for the petitioner

Facts of the case

Lloyd Gaines graduated from Lincoln University, a public university specifically for black students, in 1935. Because Lincoln University did not have a law school, he applied to the University of Missouri Law School. He was refused admission and told that admitting him would be contrary to Missouri’s state constitution, laws, and public policy. Gaines argued that this denial of admission violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights and sued to force the Board of Regents to admit him. The circuit court denied his petitions, and the Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed.

Question

Did Gaines’ denial of admission to the University of Missouri Law School violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?