Thursday, November 14, 2013

Board of Education of Oklahoma City Public Schools v. Dowell case brief

Board of Education of Oklahoma City Public Schools v. Dowell case brief summary
498 U.S. 237 (1991)


CASE SYNOPSIS
On writ of certiorari, petitioner appealed an order of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversing the dissolution of a decree imposing a school desegregation plan.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner school board sought dissolution of a decree of desegregation of its schools. The lower court agreed that the court-ordered desegregation should end, but the dissolution was reversed on appeal.

DISCUSSION

  • In remanding, the Court held that desegregation injunctions were not intended to operate in perpetuity. 
  • A desegregation decree could be dissolved after local authorities had operated in compliance with it for a reasonable period of time as a federal court's regulatory control of a school system was not to extend beyond the time required to remedy the effects of past discrimination. 
  • In deciding whether to dissolve the decree, good faith compliance with the desegregation decree and a determination of whether the vestiges of past discrimination had been eliminated to the extent practicable were relevant inquiries.

CONCLUSION
Order reversing dissolution of desegregation decree was reversed and remanded for determination of whether petitioner had complied with decree in good faith and whether vestiges of past discrimination had been eliminated to the extent practicable.


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