Bluford vs. Canada: Missouri Supreme Court Appeal Opinion


Missouri Supreme Court opinion written by Judge Albert M. Clark in the appeal of State of Missouri, at the Relation of Lucile Bluford vs. S. W. Canada, Registrar of the University of Missouri, Case No. 37449. Bluford's appeal was based on the United States Supreme Court decision in the Lloyd Gaines vs. University of Missouri case, which asserted that Gaines was entitled to admission to MU's law school when proposed alternatives were insufficient and thus refusing him admission constituted a violation of his right to equal protection. Canada's lawyers, however, argues that her suit was not undertaken in good faith as she was already a successful working journalist (she was then the managing editor of The Call) with no true interest in attending graduate school, and asserts she is a member of the NAACP seeking publicity through a test case. They also argue that Bluford made no effort to apply to Lincoln University, the state-run black university which is "required by law to 'afford to the negro people of the state opportunity for training up to the standard furnished at the State University of Missouri,'" to give that school the impetus to establish a journalism program. Judge Clark also states that "it is the duty of this court to maintain Missouri's policy of segregation so long as it does not come in conflict with the Federal constitution," and notes that the U.S. Supreme Court "has many times approved the policy of segregation."For these reasons, among others, including that Lincoln University has not refused or failed to establish a relevant program, all justices concur in the decision to uphold the prior judgment barring Bluford from admission to the University of Missouri at the current time.

Date Created
Modern Location
Jefferson City, MO
Collection Title, Call or Box Number
C2582 - University of Missouri, President's Office, Papers, 1892-1966
Rights Statement

Publication, commercial use, or reproduction of this image or the accompanying data requires prior written permission from the State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia. Use of this image also requires that credit be given to the State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia.

Digital Object Identifier