ACLU Expresses Mixed Feelings About Supreme Court Decision in School Desegregation Cases

June 28, 2007 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union expressed both relief and concern after the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling today in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education.

The decision rejected voluntary integration plans in Seattle, Washington and Louisville, Kentucky that were designed to address racial segregation in the schools by allowing consideration of a student’s race in making school assignments. The decision did not, however, signal the end of voluntary integration plans across the country.

The following can be attributed to Dennis Parker, Director of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program:

“We are disappointed that today’s decision rejected the Seattle and Louisville plans. A majority of the Court nonetheless recognized that school districts have a compelling interest in racially diverse public schools. The view of Chief Justice Roberts that local school districts lack a compelling interest in racial diversity was emphatically rejected by a majority of the Court as a repudiation of Brown v. Board of Education. In a decisive concurring opinion, Justice Kennedy made clear that he disagreed with how Seattle and Louisville had structured their voluntary integration plans, but not with their efforts to end segregation.

“Even so, the rejection of the Seattle and Louisville school plans represents a significant step backwards in a nation where schools are becoming increasingly segregated by race and ethnicity. The ACLU, along with other organizations and individuals who believe in an inclusive society, will continue its efforts to bring fairness and equality to schools.”

More information on the case is online at:

The decision is online at:

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