The lower federal court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the Lopez v. Seccombe petition. The court determined that people of Latin American descent were being discriminated against in the use of recreational parks and swimming pools in the city of San Bernardino. In its ruling, the court stated that the case did not only affect the plaintiffs present but 8,000 people of Mexican descent and extraction who were living in the city of San Bernardino at the time. Towards this end, it was acknowledged that the city and all its elected and nominated representatives were at fault and breached the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. The court directed that all recreational parks stop discriminating against Mexicans and allow them to enjoy the facilities.
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The decision was mainly attributed to the fact that the region (the State of California) was not known for racism. In the 1940s, different races were trying to develop and enhance an identity, and issues of discrimination were downplayed, especially in the American Southwest. The social and ethnic atmosphere was, therefore, tense due to the implications of the US Constitution and other legal policies that had been put in place to help lower the chances of discrimination. The court had the right to force the recreational parks to allow admittance to all races as the plaintiffs were able to prove that they were US citizens. Additionally, the plaintiffs proved that they equally contributed to the management and maintenance of the parks through proper and timely tax payments. Thus, they had the right to use these facilities just as Caucasians.
Indeed, the labor atmosphere in the American Southwest in 1944 was tense. This was because more people of Mexican descent were getting work that initially was considered for Caucasians. For example, Lopez was well educated and a senior editor when he launched the complaint against Mayor Seccombe and the city of San Bernardino. Previously, Mexicans were only attached to casual jobs that Caucasians would not do. The paradigm shift necessitated by the right laws and policies led to a historic ruling that made it more difficult to discriminate against race in California.
Lopez v. Seccombe. 71 F. Supp. 769. 1, US District Court for the Southern District of California, 1944.