Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On April 20

On this day in ...
.... 1971, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the position of the Nixon Administration and unanimously held that the Constitution permits busing of schoolchildren as a means to eliminate the vestiges of de jure segregation. (credit for photo of "the first African American to attend an integrated school in Charlotte") In an aspect of the judgment that appeared more important to The New York Times' reporter than the holding applicable to the North Carolina school district at bar, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's decision for the Court
excluded 'de facto' segregation of the North from today's ruling by declaring, 'We do not reach in this case the question whether a showing that school segregation is a consequence of other types of state action, with out any discriminatory action by the school authorities, is a constitutional violation requiring remedial action by a school desegregation decree.'
Relying the Swann precedent in their dissents in the 2007 Seattle Schools case were Justices Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stevens, the latter of whom celebrates his 90th birthday today.

(Prior April 20 posts are here, here, and here)

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