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Adams v. Richardson

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
356 F. Supp. 92 (D.D.C. 1973), 480 F.2d 159 (1973)


Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 required the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (department) (defendant) to enforce the act with respect to schools. The act contained specific measures by which the department could enforce the act: (1) termination of federal financial assistance to noncompliant schools, or (2) any other means authorized by law, so long as the department had permitted the noncompliant school to come into compliance by voluntary means. Certain black students, citizens, and taxpayers (plaintiffs) sued the department and the director of the department’s office on civil-rights grounds (defendant), alleging that the office and director were derelict in their duty of ending segregation in schools receiving federal funding. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that while the department opted for voluntary compliance, the department did not follow up to ensure that the schools actually came into compliance. The department claimed that its enforcement of the act was a matter of agency discretion and not subject to judicial review. The district court found in favor of the plaintiffs and granted an injunction. The department appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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