Sharply Divided Supreme Court Strikes Down Two Voluntary School Integration Programs

In a 5-4 ruling, with Justice Kennedy providing the critical fifth vote for the result and Chief Justice Roberts writing the Court’s opinion, the Supreme Court declared that desegregation programs voluntarily undertaken by two public school districts (Louisville and Seattle) are unconstitutional. People For the American Way Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the school districts in the case.

People For the American Way Foundation president Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement:

“This decision is a terrible blow for school districts trying to overcome our nation’s long legacy of segregation and take seriously the importance of diversity. Under the leadership of President Bush’s new justices, the Supreme Court is turning its back on the promise of Brown vs. Board of Education. We knew that the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts and of Justice Alito would be a setback for civil rights, but it’s painful to watch years of progress undone so recklessly.”

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