June 18, 2012

Supreme Court denies certiorari in racial balancing case

By Supreme Court denies certiorari in racial balancing case

The Supreme Court today denied the petition for writ of certiorari filed by nine minority students in the case called Students Doe v. Lower Merion School District.  The students claimed their school district discriminated against them on the basis of their race when it created new attendance zones in order to racially balance two high schools.  The district essentially targeted and divided the African American neighborhood to ensure the attendance of minority students in the high school far away.  PLF attorneys earlier filed an amicus brief in support of the students, that can be found here.

What is particularly disappointing is that both the trial court and court of appeals held that race had not been a factor in the drawing of the new assignment zones.  However, in its opposition brief, the school district essentially admitted that race had been a factor.  The district rejected other attendance zones because they did not equalize attendance at its two high schools.   The Court has repeatedly held in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.Grutter v. Bollinger, and Parents Involved in Cmty. Schs. v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1, that racial balancing in blatantly unconstitutional.  A local grassroots, non-profit organization, called Lower Merion Voice United For Equity in Education, said it will continue to seek justice for students in the district.

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