Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

The Pending School Cases


Can a child be barred, on the basis of his race, from attending a particular public school?  If you thought that Brown v. Board of Education delivered a resounding “no” to that question more than fifty years ago, then you might wonder why the Left is in a tizzy over the two pending Supreme Court cases from Seattle and Louisville in which (as Edward Blum states in this recent NRO essay) “both school systems classify children by race and ethnicity and assign them to various schools in order to maintain a fixed racial balance.”  What might this mean in practice?  Blum explains:


In the Louisville case, for instance, this meant Crystal Meredith’s white, four-year-old son Josh was denied admission to his neighborhood elementary school because too many white children were in attendance there. He was forced to take a 90 minute cross-town bus ride to a school in need of more white kindergartners.


If I may offer a purely political observation, I find it a wonderful fact that the Left is prepared to go bonkers if, as anticipated, a five-justice majority rules that, consistent with Brown, children cannot be assigned to public schools on the basis of race.  Isn’t this the understanding of Brown that has been absorbed into our culture?  And how many American parents believe that any four-year-old should be forced to endure two daily 90-minute bus rides for any reason, much less in order to satisfy some social engineer’s rigid vision of racial balance?


The only way the Left could be more politically obtuse would be if it fought for a supposed constitutional right to kill babies by sucking their brains out.  Oh, wait a minute….

Tags: Whelan


Subscribe to National Review