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Washington v. Seattle School District No. 1

United States Supreme Court
458 U.S. 457 (1982)


Facts

In 1978, the Seattle School District enacted the “Seattle Plan,” which utilizes mandatory busing and mandatory student reassignment to achieve racial integration. The Seattle Plan was not required by the U.S. Constitution. An organization called Citizens for Voluntary Integration Committee opposed the Seattle Plan, and placed on the 1978 Washington State general election ballot “Initiative 350,” a statewide initiative to terminate the use of mandatory busing for racial integration. Initiative 350 provided that no school board shall require any student to attend a school other than the school which is nearest to the student’s residence and offers the course of study pursued by the student. The lower courts invalidated Initiative 350, finding that the initiative was directed solely at the desegregation busing. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Powell, J.)

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