On March 31, 1992, the United States Supreme Court unanimously declared that federal district courts have the authority to relinquish supervision and control of a public school desegregation plan in incremental stages, before full compliance has been achieved in every area of school operations. The Court also held that public school districts have no duty to remedy racial imbalance caused by demographic shifts once the vestiges of de jure segregation have been eliminated. Reversing a lower court's ruling, Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, stated that the decision was consistent with the Court's duties to both remedy constitutional violations and to restore control of a public school system to state and local authorities. The Supreme Court's ruling in Freeman v. Pitts may well have whittled away much of the high ground that has been gained in the area of public school desegregation.
Frank H. Stubbs III,
Freeman v. Pitts: A Rethinking of Public School Desegregation,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol27/iss2/12