Select Page


District Judge Ben Rice agreed that segregation of Mexican American students was not authorized by Texas law and violated the equal protection of the law clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Judge Rice issued an injunction against the state and the school districts forbidding further segregation of students of “Mexican or Latin descent.” The decision, of course, left in place the legal segregation of African American students, which was specifically allowed under Texas law. Furthermore, the judge’s decision did allow school districts to provide separate first-grade classes for “language-deficient students who were identified by scientifically standardized tests.” As Professor Neil Foley in his Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity notes, “The Delgado case did little to end segregation because it was still legal to separate Mexicans from Anglos for language deficiency …” That same argument is made by Professor Paul Sracic in his San Antonio v. Rodriguez and the Pursuit of Equal Education. He writes: “According to most scholars of Mexican American school segregation in Texas, Delgado and other similar cases had little impact on what was actually happening in the schools.”