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Thursday, June 28, 2007

As predicted, a 5 to 4 U. S. Supreme Court strikes down "racial" schools.

As predicted, the U. S. Supreme Court has, by a 5 to 4 decision -- in a voluminous 185 page (pdf file) opinion in -- Parents Involved In Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, Et Al, 551 U. S. _ (2007), 05-908, that school districts, such as Louisville's, that use race as to determine student placement, whether or not the practice is voluntarily adopted, violates the Fourteenth Amendment Constitutional guarantees of equal protection.

While the Court acknowledged that remedying the effects of past discrimination is a laudable goal of government that satisfies the compelling governmental interest under a constitutionally required strict scrutiny test, the Court nonetheless CORRECTLY found that in the Louisville case, there was no governmental interest since Jefferson County's desegregation decree has been dissolved. Moreover, the Court found that Jefferson County did not make "good faith efforts" to find "race neutral" less restrictive alternatives "narrowly tailored" to achieve its diversity goals.

In my legal mind, this opinion is not as pernicious as some may conclude, including the dissenting Justices Stephen's characterization of the opinion as a "cruel irony" or that of Breyer's near apocalyptic assertion that "[t]o invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise of Brown v. Board of Education."

The opinion NEVER disavows the use of race as a factor in achieving diversity. In fact, as Justice Anthony Kennedy, who provided the crucial fifth vote for the Majority, made clear: "A district may consider it a compelling interest to achieve a diverse student population," and "[r]ace may be one component of that diversity." To the extent that Roberts' opinion could be interpreted to foreclose the use of race in any circumstance, Kennedy declared that "I disagree with that reasoning."

Update: For a synopsis of each Justice's individual pronouncements:, visit here.

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3 Comments:

Blogger KYJurisDoctor said...

Pro and con.

12:23 PM  
Blogger KYJurisDoctor said...

More con, and more con, and more con, and more con. Then something slightly different.

12:33 PM  
Blogger KYJurisDoctor said...

George Will.

12:20 AM  

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