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Freeman v. Pitts

United States Supreme Court
503 U.S. 467 (1992)


In 1969, a federal district court issued a desegregation plan to the DeKalb County School System and maintained ongoing jurisdiction over the case under a Brown II consent decree. The school system then took a number of measures, including student reassignments, the introduction of magnet schools, and the recruitment of minority faculty under the decree, which effectively ended desegregation. Nevertheless, white people were moving out of certain neighborhoods to ensure their kids would not attend specific schools. This was called “white flight.” Thus, in 1981, the district court held that ongoing racial segregation in the school district had been caused by population shifts and not by the local government. The district court therefore found that it no longer needed to supervise student school assignments and gave up its jurisdiction over the case. A federal court of appeals reversed, based on the continued de facto segregation, and ordered the district court to look for solutions to the racial imbalance. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Concurrence (Blackmun, J.)

Concurrence (Souter, J.)

Concurrence (Scalia, J.)

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