Rearguing Brown v. Board of Education
by David J. Armor - August 15, 2007
Many commentators explain the Supreme Court decision in the Seattle and Louisville desegregation cases as simply a "rightward" shift of the Roberts Court. In fact, it reflects a far more complex disagreement over the meaning of Brown that has been going on for nearly 40 years. Justice Kennedy is now at the center of that dispute, and he disagreed in major ways with both the dissenters and his other four colleagues in the majority. Indeed, one can argue that the Seattle decision shifts the Court "leftward" because, for the first time, five Justices see a compelling government interest in reducing de facto racial isolation.
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