separate but equal

noun
sep·a·rate but equal | \ ˈse-prət-, -pə-rət- \

Legal Definition of separate but equal 

: 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

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