June 29, 2007

A Mixed Opinion

Having had 24 hours to digest it, legal experts are of mixed opinions about the scope and ramifications of yesterday’s Supreme Court school race ruling, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School Dist. No. 1.

"In some ways, considering what we anticipated, it's not as bad as it could have been, but it's bad.” Theodore M. Shaw, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

“What I see is that the majority of the court says there is a compelling interest in dealing with the harms of racial isolation, and the court found that school districts can make race-conscious measures in dealing with these harms.” Maree Sneed, Hogan & Hartson.

"These are the most important decisions on the use of race since Brown v. Board of Education." - - Sharon Browne, Pacific Legal Foundation.

“The Supreme Court enables the resegregation of schools by race” - - Washington Post editorial

“A Supreme Court ruling Thursday dealt a blow to schools that pick students by race to create diverse classrooms. But it didn't preclude less-racial means to achieve diversity.” Christian Science Monitor editorial.

“This isn’t a categorical ruling prohibiting all use of race in student assignment or college admissions decisions. I think the door is open to other designs of race-conscious programs that might pass a Supreme Court test.” - - said Art Coleman, Holland & Knight.

“a sad day for the court and for the ideal of racial equality.” New York Times editorial.

The court has left us feeling good about the overarching theory but left us very little maneuvering room to reach that intent. Many school districts are likely to give up." Michael Casserly, Council of the Great City Schools