by Locker Room contributor
On September 21, 2001, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier court ruling determining Charlotte/Mecklenburg School System had achieved ?unitary status.? While this case resolved issues surrounding the 1969 desegregation court order, if failed to establish if racial preference in student assignment policies would be allowed after ?unitary status.?
The school system did not appeal the decision and totally stopped using race preferences. Others involved in the case appealed to the United States Supreme Court. However, April 15, 2002 the Supreme Court announced they would not hear the petitions filed, and left the Fourth Circuit Court?s decision stand.
While hundreds of these cases are unresolved in many states, North Carolina only has four left in litigation: Franklin County, Bertie County, Halifax County and Burlington City.
Linda Chavez, Chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity, sent letters to judges in the districts that have these types of cases pending asking them to determine whether judicial supervision was still needed.
Today the United States Supreme Court is hearing cases involving race-based practices, it will be interesting to see what happens with these long standing court orders. Many organizations including the Association of Neighborhood Schools have filed Amicus Curiae Briefs.
This will be the first race-related constitutional case for the two new Justices – John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
No doubt this decision will shape hundreds of other cases involving race preferences.
George, thanks for reminding us of the type of folks who speak the loudest for government schools, especially those in Wake County.