Supreme Court Divided Again on a Major Decision

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In 1954, US Supreme Court ruled--without a dissenting vote--that racial segregation in public schools violated the Constitution.  The Court's unanimity was considered a great achievement by the new Chief Justice, Earl Warren--and a major factor in driving the subsequent integration of schools. Today, the US Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that schools cannot consider race in trying to maintain racial diversity. School districts nationwide could be affected by a split decision with Bush appointees Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts on the winning side. In dissent, Stephen Breyer said, "This is a decision the nation and the court will come to regret." We consider the first term of the Roberts Court, and whether its record of 5-to-4 decisions will make history or leave major issues more muddled than ever.




Warren Olney