Court Case Brief: Parents Involved In Community Schools

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ts IJodi Donlin March 20, 2012 Case Brief: Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District no. 1 Facts: Parents of students denied assignment to particular schools due to their race sued the School District for an injunction against the use of racial factors when deciding school placement. The Parents argued that using race as a factor in determining placement is a violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Civil Rights Acts of 1964. The District allowed all students to apply to any high school in the district. They used race as a tiebreaker when a high school received more applications than they could accept. The District says the racial tiebreaker was used in order to maintain racial diversity. Either whites or non-whites could…show more content…
The Federal District Court upheld the tiebreaker and dismissed the charges because they said that State law did not bar the District’s use of the racial tiebreaker. They said the State’s Civil Rights Act bars only preferential treatment programs where race or gender is used by government to select a less qualified applicant over a more qualified applicant. The Parents appealed and the Circuit Court reversed the decision. The Court found that while achieving racial diversity and avoiding racial isolation are compelling government interests, Seattle’s use of the racial tiebreaker was not narrowly tailored to achieve these interests. The District appealed this decision and the Ninth Circuit Court sat En Banc to hear the case. Eleven Judges in the En Banc panel reversed the Circuit Court’s decision. Majority ruled that the District had a compelling interest in maintaining racial diversity. They ruled that the District’s tiebreaker plan was narrowly tailored because: 1. The District did not employ quotas; 2. The District had considered race-neutral alternatives; 3. The plan caused no undue harm to

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