ADL Urges Supreme Court To Uphold Seattle And Louisville School Desegregation Plans
New York, NY, October 9, 2006 … More than 50 years after the landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which advocated strongly in favor of school desegregation then, has submitted a "friend of the court" brief in a new case that could have broad implications for the future of desegregation in America's public schools.
ADL's amicus curiae brief urges the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold school desegregation plans in Seattle and Louisville -- programs the League believes are justified "not only by a compelling interest in desegregation, but also by a compelling interest in promoting racial diversity in the educational setting."
Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, National Director issued the following statement:
More than 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education, these cases are about our nation's continuing, unfulfilled and still critically important duty to eliminate segregation in our public schools. The Seattle and Louisville programs, which use race as one factor in assigning students to public schools of comparable quality, are justified not only by a compelling interest in desegregation, but also by a compelling interest in promoting racial diversity in the educational setting.
ADL continues to oppose quotas and racial preferences and the use of race as a proxy for personal characteristics in selecting persons in an application process. However, we are convinced that it is possible – and even necessary – for a desegregation plan to be race-conscious without constituting a racial preference.
The race-conscious government action involved in the Seattle and Louisville plans does not involve an unfair preference for students who might be less qualified, nor does it discriminate in the provision of benefits. To the contrary, these plans offer a legitimate, thoughtful and constitutionally sound way to promote equality, diversity, and cross-racial understanding.
The League's brief was written by Martin E. Karlinsky of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and Professor Erwin Chemerinsky of Duke Law School.
The League's Web site includes additional resources on Brown v. Board of Education, including the League's original 1954 amicus brief and an educational resource for middle and high school students on the history and legacy of the landmark case.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.