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Pacific Legal Foundation: Press Release

SACRAMENTO, CA; June 28, 2007: Today Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) hailed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions, announced this morning, to strike down public schools’ use of race in student assignments.

The Supreme Court decided that policies in Seattle and in Jefferson County, Kentucky, that use race in determining what public school a child may attend are patently unconstitutional.

PLF is amicus and part of petitioners’ legal teams for both student-assignment cases – Seattle and Kentucky – decided by the United States Supreme Court today. PLF Principal Attorney Sharon Browne assisted the attorney for the mother in the Kentucky case at oral argument, sitting second chair, and PLF attorneys participated in every phase of the Seattle case including the oral argument when the Seattle case was before the Washington Supreme Court.

“These are the most important decisions on the use of race since Brown v. Board of Education,” said Sharon Browne, PLF Principal Attorney. “Schools across our country must get the message loud and clear – our young people should not be assigned to a school based on the color of their skin.”

“With these decisions, an estimated 1,000 school districts around the country that are sending the wrong message about race to kids will have to stop,” Browne said. “The High Court has decided correctly that children must not be stereotyped by the color of their skin, but rather treated as individuals. They deserve equal opportunities to prepare them for life’s challenges.”

Ms. Browne and PLF have led the effort to enforce California’s antidiscrimination Proposition 209 for more than a decade. Proposition 209 prohibits government agencies – including public schools – from using race in making decisions. PLF also litigates nationally in opposition to race- and sex-based quotas in public education and government programs.

PLF has successfully litigated to end racial quotas in one Southern California school district, and is currently suing the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest school district, and the Berkeley, California, school district.

The cases that the Supreme Court decided today are Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District, 05-908, and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 05-915.

About Pacific Legal Foundation
Pacific Legal Foundation is the oldest and largest public interest legal organization dedicated to property rights, limited government, and a balanced approach to environmental protection.

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