Arthur S. And the racial isolation of schools cannot be remedied without undoing the racial isolation of the neighborhoods in which they are located. The Myth of De Facto Segregation Inthe Supreme Court made integration more difficult when it prohibited the Louisville and Seattle school districts from making racial balance a factor in assigning students to schools, in cases where applicant numbers exceeded available seats. The plurality opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts called student categorization by race unconstitutional unless designed to reverse effects of explicit rules that segregated students by race.
Even the liberal dissenters in the Louisville-Seattle case, led by Justice Stephen Breyer, agreed with this characterization. Breyer argued that school districts should be permitted voluntarily to address de facto racial homogeneity, even if not constitutionally required to do so.
But he accepted that for the most part, Louisville and Seattle schools were not segregated by state action and thus not constitutionally required to desegregate. This is a dubious proposition. Certainly, Northern schools have not been segregated segregafion policies assigning blacks to some schools and whites to others; they are segregated because their neighborhoods are racially homogenous.
ALSO OF INTEREST
In any meaningful sense, neighborhoods and in consequence, schools, have been segregated de jure. The title is no exaggeration. The notion of de facto segregation is a myth, although widely accepted in a national consensus that wants to avoid confronting our racial history. De Jure Residential Segregation by Federal, State, and Local Government The federal government led in the establishment and maintenance of residential segregation in metropolitan areas.]