San Diego Law Review

Document Type



To paraphrase Winston Churchill, the Supreme Court’s opinion in Brown v. Board of the Education was not the end of litigation over discriminatory practices, nor was it the beginning of the end. It was, however, the end of the beginning. Brown marked a dramatic capstone to a series of lawsuits challenging the concept of “separate but equal” embodied in Plessy v. Ferguson. But it also signaled a new phase of civil rights litigation: advocates emboldened by Brown’s resounding endorsement of equality sought new constitutional protections against discrimination. Among them were women seeking to extend Brown’s logic towards a constitutional mandate for gender equality. Both the antidiscrimination principle articulated in Brown and women’s expanding role in society led to the development of Equal Protection jurisprudence that rejects the codification of gender stereotypes.