It is indeed appalling that the Justice Department is trying to use old school-desegregation orders to block Louisiana’s school-voucher program, as John Fund discusses. But, as I wrote more than a decade ago, the underlying problem is often that school districts — for short-sighted political reasons – have been too complacent in leaving these old orders in place, and so they must bear some of the blame. Look at it this way: If a school district is desegregated, then the Supreme Court has made clear that these court orders ought not to be left in place, since they are unnecessary to prevent true discrimination and can only create mischief. And if a school district is not desegregated — nearly six decades after Brown v. Board of Education — then, well, why isn’t it? There are still a couple of hundred of these court orders out there, and school districts — and federal judges, sua sponte — ought to be proactive in removing the ones that are no longer necessary, and in fulfilling the ones that have not yet been fulfilled.
by Roger Clegg