Sunday, December 8, 2013

Runyon v. McCrary case brief

Runyon v. McCrary case brief summary
427 U.S. 160 (1976)

Through their parents, respondent children filed a class action against petitioner private schools. The complaint alleged that the policy of denying admission to African-Americans violated 42 U.S.C.S. § 1981. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the district court's holding that the racially discriminatory policies violated § 1981. The private schools appealed.

The private schools denied admission to African-American children because they were not integrated and only accepted members of the Caucasian race. The private schools had never accepted any African-American child.

  • On appeal, the Court found that the private schools' practice of racial exclusion amounted to a classic violation of 42 U.S.C.S. § 1981. 
  • Next, the Court determined that § 1981 did not violate any freedom of association right as it was applied. 
  • Also, the Court found that the application of § 1981 did not infringe any parental right to direct the children's education. 
  • Finally, the Court did not believe that disallowing the private schools' racially discriminatory admissions policy represented a governmental intrusion into the privacy of parental interests. 
  • On the issue of attorney fees, the Court stated that the children were not entitled to an award of attorney's fees because the private schools did not defend the lawsuit in bad faith.
The Court affirmed the finding that the private schools unlawfully discriminated against the children by denying them admission on the basis of their race.

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