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Bradley v. School Board

416 U.S. 696 (1974)

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Bradley v. School Board

United States Supreme Court

416 U.S. 696 (1974)

Facts

The School Board of the City of Richmond, Virginia (the school board) (defendant) was found to have unconstitutionally discriminated against its students (the students) (plaintiffs) by segregating its schools. In 1971 the district court awarded the students attorney’s fees for legal services rendered between March 10, 1970, and January 29, 1971. Explaining its decision, the district court argued that the school board had acted unreasonably during litigation and that, for public-policy reasons, plaintiffs in school-desegregation cases should be awarded attorney’s fees. The school board appealed. After the school board appealed, but before the court of appeals made its decision, Congress enacted § 718 of Title VII, which authorized federal courts to award attorney’s fees in school-desegregation cases. Section 718 became effective on July 1, 1972. In reversing the district court’s award of attorney’s fees to the students, the court of appeals held that § 718 applied to legal services rendered after July 1, 1972. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether attorney’s fees could be awarded to the students under § 718.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)

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