Continued Legal Importance
Holmes v. Atlanta has had a lasting impact on civil rights in Atlanta, the South and the United States. Holmes’ lawyer Roscoe E. Thomas has called the case, “the first desegregation suit in Atlanta.” In 1983 then Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young noted that Tup Holmes and the Holmes case “played a significant role in the birth of the civil rights movement…and in doing so contributed to the growth, vitality and spirit of our city.” Thus as Young suggests the case has both influenced Atlanta and extended beyond the city’s borders. For example, between 1955 and 2007, 51 cases from across the United States have cited the Supreme Court ruling as precedent to improve the distribution of city services, challenge local municipal codes that promoted segregation, and integrate diverse forms of municipal recreation facilities. This includes cases seeking to desegregate leisure facilities such as public parks and swimming pools, and its application to those confronting voting rights and access to public transportation.