Méndez v. Westminster
By law, school districts in California segregated American Indian and Asian children. They also commonly placed Latino and African American students in separate programs. In the early 1940s Felícitas and Gonzalo Méndez tried to enroll their three children in the local all-white Westminster Elementary School. When school officials refused, the Méndezes joined other families and filed suit. On March 2, 1945, a group of parents, with the support of the League of United Latin American Citizens, filed a class action suit in federal court against segregated schools in Orange County. They argued that separate schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment.