DISASTER BY DECREE: The Supreme Court Decisions on Race and the Schools by Line A. Graglia

DISASTER BY DECREE: The Supreme Court Decisions on Race and the Schools

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The fundamental argument of this energetic book is that the Supreme Court has made an unwarranted switch from its ban on racial discrimination in public schools to a mandate for such discrimination in the form of ""busing""and other orders to achieve racially balanced schools. In the 1960s, Graglia says, Congressional advocates of desegregation vigorously denied that compulsory integration would result from the Civil Rights Act; but the Supreme Court and the Office of Education have unconstitutionally reintroduced the racial principle that was supposed to be disallowed. Graglia acknowledges that a ""freedom of choice"" approach to public-school desegregation has allowed plenty of de facto segregation, but--taking Detroit and Denver as case studies--he maintains that busing is an infringement of individual freedom, an obstacle to parental participation in school affairs, and a violation of middle-class Americans' desire to have their children enjoy the fruits of relative prosperity. Graglia himself exhibits no racial bias, and his extended textual criticism of the sophistry embedded in various key Court decisions is impressive. Yet he offers no explanation for the policy developments he attacks, beyond the Court's perversity; and his proposed solution seems to be ""local control"" without Court interference and also without a remedy for ghettoization. Thus the book represents an important critique, but also offers ammunition to less liberal polemicists than Graglia himself.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 1976
Publisher: Cornell Univ. Press