Supreme Court Race Ruling ‘Judicial Activism’

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The U.S. Supreme Court reignited the debate over how to appropriately handle diversity in U.S. public schools when it overturned policies intended to diversify student enrollments in Jefferson County, Kentucky and in Seattle.

Political leaders called yesterday’s ruling “appalling,” “a terrible blow to school districts,” and “judicial activism.” Others said that the ruling gave racist school policies a “smackdown.” Some are going so far as to say the ruling marks a return to segregation, while others claim that existing, binary (white and black) notions of race still cloud the debate.

It’s worth noting that at least one of the original plaintiffs in the case was a white mother who was disappointed that her child didn’t get accepted into her first school of choice. Many plaintiffs in the case (not necessarily white) were also pissed that schools were using race as a determining factor for “tiebreakers.”

How educators define and treat race from here on out remains to be seen — since the ruling stopped short of prohibiting all consideration of race in K-12 education.

For an inside look at those involved in the Seattle case check out this MoJo interview with David Engle, former principal of Ballard High, who resigned rather than eliminate the racial tiebreaker at his school.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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