Publication Date

Summer 2008



Document Type



The article was part of a symposium on the jurisprudence of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. First, the article analyzed whether the Court’s decision in Parents Involved v. Seattle Schools was consistent with Justice O’Connor’s majority opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger. The article concludes that Parents Involved narrowly construed the holding in Grutter and limited its effect. Second, the article assessed the practical import of the decision in Parents Involved. It found that the opinion made voluntary desegregation more difficult than it otherwise would be and, thus, would discourage many school districts from taking progressive action. Unfortunately, the article also points out that only a limited number of schools were pursuing voluntary desegregation prior to Parents Involved and that even among these districts, the plans were not aggressive. Thus, the decision might change little in terms of current practices, but would serve as a disincentive in the future.


Originally published in Catholic University Law Review and published here with their permission.

© Derek Black