WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected school diversity plans that take account of students’ race in two major public school districts.
The decision in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle could imperil similar plans in hundreds of districts nationwide, and it leaves public school systems with a limited arsenal to maintain racial diversity.
The court split, 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the court’s judgment. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a dissent that was joined by the court’s other three liberals.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion in which he said race may be a component of school district plans designed to achieve diversity.
But he agreed with Roberts that the plans in Louisville and Seattle went too far.