Constitutional Law: The Courts & De Facto

Soon after the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling that segregated schools are "inherently unequal," many Negroes hoped that Northern de facto segregation caused by housing patterns would be labeled just as unconstitutional as Southern de jure segregation enforced by law. They learned how wrong they were last spring when the court refused to review the only case of de facto segregation that has yet reached it—a lower-court decision that Gary, Ind., was not obliged to desegregate 17 schools with enrollments that ranged from 77% to 100% Negro.

The fact is that the Constitution no more requires integrated schools than it guarantees...

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