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Milliken v. Bradley

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Revision as of 20:47, 25 February 2011 by FindLaw AHK (Talk | contribs)

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Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974), was a constitutional law case heard before the United States Supreme Court that dealt with the busing schoolchildren as related to the desegregation of public school systems.

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Summary of Case Facts

In the wake of Brown v. Board of Education many school systems’ attempts to desegregate had been unsuccessful. As this case concerned Detroit schools, a lawsuit was filed against Governor Milliken to compel desegregation. The district court’s solution was to redraw district lines around more than 50 outlying school districts outside of Detroit to achieve racial balance. Appeals were filed and affirmed before reaching the Supreme Court.


Can a federal court redraw lines across multiple outlying school districts to force desegregation in Detroit?

Holding and Law

No. The court decided that without any showing of the outlying districts’ violation of Brown or any showing of interdistrict violation or effect that the lower court’s remedy was wholly impermissible, and not justified by Brown. The court also went on to say that achieving desegregation by dismantling a dual school system did not require “any particular racial balance in any school, grade, or classroom.” The court also went on to say that it preferred that schools be operated by those within the school’s local area.

Related Cases and Resources on LawBrain

Brown v. Board of Education


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