The Law: Legal Briefs

> In 1972 a federal court ordered the predominantly black city school system in Richmond, Va., to merge with mainly white suburban schools. A court of appeals reversed the order, and the Supreme Court then agreed to decide the controversial issue. But when it finally acted last week, the court left the basic question unanswered. Justice Lewis Powell, as a former member of the Richmond school board, disqualified himself, and the remaining Justices split 4-4, which had the effect of leaving the appeals court reversal in force. The Richmond non-decision was the first time since Brown v. Board of Education (1954)...

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