SAT Subject US History Practice Question 1121: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 1121

4. The landmark Brown v. the Board of Education Supreme Court decision on school desegregation was based on

A. the 14th Amendment equal protection clause.
B. the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery.
C. the 5th Amendment due process clause.
D. the Bill of Rights.
E. the doctrine of strict scrutiny.

Correct Answer: A


The Warren Court's unanimous decision in 1954 was based on psychological studies on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The Court relied on sociological and psychological studies that showed that African American children had feelings of inferiority and that separation was harmful and prevented blacks from equal opportunity in society. Strict scrutiny (a highly rigorous level of evaluation of a rule) was not mentioned. The 13th Amendment and the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution) had no relevance to this case.

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