February 1, 2008

The Court rejected the constitutionality of school district plans in Seattle and Louisville that used race as a factor in student assignment in an effort to address racial segregation in K-12 schools. DECIDED

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued an opinion in two cases that will affect school integration programs throughout the country. Parents in Louisville, Kentucky and Seattle, Washington argued that those districts' school integration programs - each of which was voluntarily adopted by local school boards to promote racial integration - violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiffs in these cases held that programs that use race in student assignment to public schools are unconstitutional, even where communities have voluntarily created such programs to provide their children with more diverse educational opportunities.


Despite the Supreme Court's decisions in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, the ACLU expresses its continued support for initiatives that take race into account in creating balanced, integrated schools.

ACLU Legal Director Steve Shapiro talks about the racial resegregation of public school districts at the 2006 Membership Conference

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