Saturday, December 7, 2013

Crawford v. Board of Education case brief

Crawford v. Board of Education case brief summary
458 U.S. 527 (1982)

In a school desegregation case, petitioner minority students challenged an order of the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, which held that a proposition ratified by voters, that conformed the power of the state courts to order busing of students to that exercised by the federal courts under the U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV, was constitutional.

Petitioner minority students sought desegregation of respondent school district's schools. A district court approved a mandatory reassignment and busing plan based on race and ethnicity. The district court found unconstitutional a proposition ratified by voters that conformed the state courts' power to order busing to that exercised by the federal courts. The court of appeals reversed the district court, finding the proposition constitutional but barring the part of the plan that mandated reassignment and busing.

  • On writ of certiorari, the court affirmed and held that the proposition embraced the federal constitutional requirements as to mandatory school assignments and transportation, did not embody any racial classification and, simply forbade the state courts to order pupil reassignment or busing in the absence of a U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV violation. 
  • The state constitution placed a greater duty upon respondent than the U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV. 
  • It was constitutional for the people of the state to determine that the standard of the U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV was more appropriate for the state courts to apply in desegregation cases than the standard repealed by the proposition at issue.

The Court affirmed the decision of the appellate court because the state constitution placed a greater duty upon respondent than the Fourteenth Amendment.

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