High Court Limits Use of Race in School Assignments

Choice plans found unconstitutional
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2007 12:06 PM CDT
High Court Limits Use of Race in School Assignments
U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen G. Breyer awaits the start of a reenactment of the 1857 Supreme Court case, Dred Scott v. Sandford, at Harvard Law School, Saturday, April 7, 2007, in Cambridge, Mass. Breyer played the part of Roger B. Taney, the presiding chief justice at the time of the original...   (Associated Press)

Taking race into consideration in school assignments is unconstitutional because it violates students' rights under the equal protection clause, the Supreme Court ruled today in a landmark decision that could cause upheaval in K-12 education. The decision, by an increasingly familiar 5-4 vote, invalidates diversity plans in Louisville and Seattle but affects systems across the country.

In invalidating the voluntary plans, the court revealed an increasingly acrimonious split. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts said, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discrimination on the basis of race." In a scorching dissent, Justice Breyer wrote, "This is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret." (More school stories.)

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