Adams v. Bennett

675 F. Supp. 668 (1987)

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Adams v. Bennett

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
675 F. Supp. 668 (1987)

Facts

Kenneth Adams and students attending various educational institutions throughout several states (collectively, the students) (plaintiffs) filed suit against William Bennett (defendant), the United States secretary of education, alleging that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) failed to properly enforce federal law aimed at ending discrimination in education and continued to grant funds in violation of various statutes, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA). In the original case, filed 17 years prior, the district court had held that the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and its director of the OCR had an affirmative duty to initiate enforcement proceedings against schools to ensure compliance with the CRA. In 1975 the students filed suit alleging delays in enforcement, and ultimately a consent order was negotiated, which was supplemented by additional orders and modifications. In 1982 the OCR moved to vacate the consent order on the basis of changes in law and fact. The district court denied the motion and entered a separate order directing the OCR to require several states to submit additional plans to desegregate. The OCR appealed the district court’s denial of its motion to vacate the consent order. A court of appeals remanded the case, raising issues of standing and mootness. The OCR then filed a motion to dismiss based on lack of standing.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pratt, J.)

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