Supreme Court Decisions on Using Race in K-12 Assignment

June 28, 2007

Jim Ryan, at UVA law school, is one of the smartest education law professors around. His analysis of today’s decision is worth reading. Jim’s basic point is that Kennedy’s opinion will allow K-12 schools to use race-conscious measures, in much the same way that Justice Powell’s decision in Bakke set guidelines for affirmative action at the higher education level. Given Kennedy’s historic opposition to any use of race by the government, I am pleasantly surprised that, even while striking down these plans, he explained how schools might use race to vindicate the spirit of Brown.

Jack Balkin also has some thoughtful comments on this issue.

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