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Washington v. Seattle School District

The Power Of The State

Justice Blackmun wrote for the majority, with the Court finding in favor of the Seattle School District by a margin of 5-4. Following essentially the same reasoning of the district court, the Court viewed Initiative 350 as an inappropriate use of the power of the state. The initiative was judged to be impermissibly preferential, in that it singled out busing to end racial segregation while allowing busing for many other reasons. The initiative also did not follow the precept established in Hunter v. Erickson (1969) that stated statutes must follow a general principle, since it was crafted for a purely racial purpose and placed significant burdens on racial minority groups. Finally, the Court affirmed another principle developed in Hunter v. Erickson: that "meaningful and unjustified distinctions based on race are impermissible."

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988Washington v. Seattle School District - Significance, A Thorny Problem, Resistance To Change, Legal Remedies, The Power Of The State