Personal Liberties

Robinson v. Wentzell

Required by state law, race-based quotas at Hartford, Connecticut, magnet schools deny Black and Hispanic students’ civil rights and chances for high-quality education.

Representing seven families, PLF sued to ensure that Black and Hispanic students have the same educational opportunities as all children in Connecticut. The City of Hartford runs a number of world-class magnet schools. These schools are so successful that demand outstrips the schools’ capacity, and a lottery is used to decide who can attend. But because state law imposes racial quotas on these schools—enrollment must be at least 25% white or Asian—Black and Hispanic students are denied admission if their enrollment at a school would raise minority enrollment above 75%—even if it means seats remain empty.

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