• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court eased the stringency of the requirements governing desegregation in public schools.

Justice William H. RehnquistRehnquist, William H.;Pasadena Board of Education v. Spangler[Pasadena Board of Education v. Spangler] wrote the opinion for the 6-2 majority, holding that the Pasadena, California, school board (and other similarly situated boards) did not have to make annual readjustments in school district lines once the district had been found in compliance with school desegregation practices. Rehnquist did not find that Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education[case]Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education[Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education] (1971) required annual readjustments in school assignments. Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan, Jr., dissented, arguing that the Supreme Court’s ruling represented an unacceptable departure from the stricter criteria that school boards had followed since Swann. Pasadena was similar to Milliken v. Bradley[case]Milliken v. Bradley[Milliken v. Bradley] (1974) in relaxing the pressure on school districts to desegregate. Justice John Paul Stevens did not participate.School integration and busing;Pasadena Board of Education v. Spangler[Pasadena Board of Education v. Spangler]


Equal protection clause

Fourteenth Amendment

Milliken v. Bradley

School integration and busing

Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education

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