The Author:

Elmer Enstrom, Jr.

Self-taught lawyer;
retired U.S. Judge;
public interest attorney

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Elmer Enstrom, Jr. became a California lawyer in 1957 following self-study under then-applicable state law, while a court clerk for numerous federal judges. He was appointed Assistant United States Attorney in 1959. After completing service as Assistant in Charge of the U.S. Attorney's San Diego office in 1964, he became United States Commissioner for San Diego County, California.

On taking leave as U.S. Commissioner in late 1966, Judge Enstrom served as Director — Chief Counsel of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego for nearly three years.

He became a United States Magistrate on July 1, 1969, sitting part-time in both San Diego and Imperial Counties until his retirement December 31, 1973.

Since then he has practiced public interest law, in the course of which he helped establish the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer program in 1983. He is a Past President of the San Diego Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and a forty-three-year member of the American Bar Association.

Pasadena City College in 1999 chose Judge Enstrom as one of its 75 Distinguished Alumni (from over one million students in its history), for its 75th Anniversary celebration in May 2000.

As a public interest attorney, he represented, pro bono, the Intervenors in the Carlin v. Board of Education 1967 "desegregation" class action, from 1980 until its end on July 1, 1998.

Enstrom has written three books on the Carlin case, analyzing this thirty-year case in relation to other cases involving integration and desegregation — especially cases of controlling schools by means of class action lawsuits, wherein the students and parents involved face great difficulties being recognized as real parties in interest in their own school choices. In these books he analyzes related precedents, State- and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and Constitutional considerations of judicial oversight of public schools:


Busing —Not Integration— Opposed
Invoke Our Color-Blind Constitution to End It

A Reasoned Opposition to
Race-Based Affirmative Action in Public Schools
Liberate Public Schools
from Government by Lawsuit

A Long Pro Bono Struggle
Against Racially Balancing Public School Students
in a Thirty-Year Lawsuit
Parental Handbook
For Parents Dedicated to Local Control
of Public Education of Children
According to the Constitution

Some Comments ...

I am in awe of the efforts you have made, pro bono, for 17 years to end a disastrous injustice. You honor our profession.

Lino A. Graglia
Professor, School of Law
The University of Texas at Austin

Author of Disaster by Decree

Professor Graglia's National Public Radio debate

Your deeds should be recognized appropriately by the people of San Diego. Your dedication is extraordinary. Your doughtiness and tenacity represent an inspiration for all public-minded lawyers in California.

Quentin L. Kopp
California State Senator

who introduced in 1994, Senate Constitutional Amendment No. 10, the legislative precursor of Proposition 209 adopted November 5, 1996 as Section 31, Article I, to the California Constitution.

Hopefully, Attorney Enstrom's work will lead to the end of mandatory race-based student assignments in public schools, like our presentation to the regents did in ending race-based admissions to the University of California.
Jerry and Ellen Cook
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Enstrom Foundation
History & analysis of the 30-year Carlin affirmative action lawsuit.
Busing —Not Integration— Opposed: Contents
Liberate Public Schools from Government by Lawsuit: Contents
Parental Handbook: Contents
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