Desegregation in U.S. schools

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday [October 29] flatly decreed that all American public schools, which still remain segregated, must desegregate at once. From now on, the Supreme Court ruling said school districts must operate only unitary schools which both white and black students can attend. Yesterday’s decision was as historic as the 1954 Warren Court ruling that ordered desegregation “with all deliberate speed”. But yesterday’s decree went far beyond that and ruled that the continued operation of segregated schools under a standard of allowing all deliberate speed was “no longer constitutionally permissible.” Many southern schools notably in Mississippi had used the phrase “all deliberate speed” as an excuse to delay desegregation for the last 15 years by resorting to lengthy litigation in the lower courts. The latest ruling requires all schools to desegregate right away and stay desegregated while it argued the details in lower courts. The Supreme Court ruling is seen as a serious blow to the prestige of the Nixon Administration which has been in favour of slow desegregation.

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