BlackFacts Details

Browder v. Gayle (1956)

June 5, 1956


Statement of the Case

The purpose of this action is to test the constitutionality of both the statutes of the State of Alabama n1 and the ordinances of the City of Montgomery n2 which require the segregation of the white and colored races on the motor buses of the Montgomery City Lines, Inc., a common carrier of passengers in said City and its police jurisdiction.


n1. Title 48, § 301(31a, b, c), Code of Alabama of 1940, as amended, which provide:

§ 301(31a). Separate accommodations for white and colored races. -- All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races, but such accommodations for the races shall be equal. All motor transportation companies or operators of vehicles carrying passengers for hire in this state, whether intrastate or interstate passengers, shall at all times provide equal but separate accommodations on each vehicle for the white and colored races. The conductor or agent of the motor transportation company in charge of any vehicle is authorized and required to assign each passenger to the division of the vehicle designated for the race to which the passenger belongs; and, if the passenger refuses to occupy the division to which he is assigned, the conductor or agent may refuse to carry the passenger on the vehicle; and, for such refusal, neither the conductor or agent of the motor transportation company nor the motor transportation company shall be liable in damages. Any motor transportation company or person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars for each offense; and each days violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.

The provisions of this section shall be administered and enforced by the Alabama public service commission in the manner in which provisions of the Alabama Motor