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separate but equal n: the doctrine set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court that sanctioned the segregation of individuals by race in separate but equal facilities but that was invalidated as unconstitutional see also Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka and Plessy v. Ferguson in the Important Cases section
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.