Busing —Not Integration— Opposed:
Invoke Our Color-Blind Constitution to End It / Chapter Seven
|Invoke Our Color-Blind Constitution
to End Busing
School officials who have operated their districts in good faith under busing orders for a long time should feel encouraged to move promptly to be allowed to have neighborhood plans under the tenor of the Freeman decision, contained in statements such as the following:
112 S.Ct. at 1445: "Returning schools to the control of local authorities at the earliest practicable date is essential to restore their true accountability in our governmental system."
112 S.Ct. at 1448: "As the de jure violation becomes more remote in time and these demographic changes intervene, it becomes less likely that a current racial imbalance in a school district is a vestige of the prior de jure system."
Nevertheless, school board members under busing orders are not in the same vulnerable position as the dissenting students, and their parents, who are subjected to busing. Even though there is majoritarian multiracial support for the termination of busing and a return to the neighborhood school system, they also obviously are aware of the opposition which will meet them. They can see the never-ending appeals in the Oklahoma City and DeKalb County cases, regardless of biracial support for neighborhood plans. They worry whether their showing for such relief will be sufficient at the trial level, and then at the appellate level, in the face of the expected challenge, which could take years in litigation to resolve, with the attendant court costs and attorney fees. As was reported by headline in the Los Angeles Daily Journal on Jan. 22, 1991, following the Oklahoma City ruling, "School Officials Nationwide React Cautiously to Desegregation Ruling". As has been the response to that ruling and to an earlier letter to a number of school boards from the U.S. Attorney General inviting them to seek termination of desegregation orders, school boards can be expected to continue to act cautiously.
Thus it is probable that if relief for busing dissenters in the many other districts referred to by Justice Scalia is going to be achieved, they will have to achieve it by their individual invocations of the Constitution. This will most likely come about in a typical American way, as in San Diego, as illustrated by the following hypothetical situation in one of
Carlin v. Board of Education, San Diego Unified School District,
San Diego Superior Court No. 303800 (1967-1998)
San Diego, California
Dowell v. Bd. of Educ. of Okl. City Public Schools,
(10th Cir. 1989), 890 F.2d 1483
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Freeman v. Pitts, 112 S.Ct. 1430 (1992)
DeKalb County School System (DCSS),
DeKalb County, Georgia
|— Busing: Chapter 7, pages 100 - 130 —|