This Comment analyzes the debate regarding the catalyst for desegregation in the American public school system: judicial intervention or Congress’s legislative action, specifically through implementation of Title VI, which authorized revocation of funds to school districts that did not comply with the desegregation mandate. Part I will summarize the historical events and developments that paved the way to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown. Part II looks at how the Brown decision alone was not enough to effectuate immediate change in southern schools, despite the court’s order in the second Brown decision, Brown v. Board of Education (Brown II) that schools desegregate “with all deliberate speed.” Part III discusses Congress’s movement to take control over desegregation efforts and protect minority constitutional rights by enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Part IV will evaluate the current state of desegregation in American public schools more than sixty years post-Brown and fifty years after Title VI was enacted. It aims to discern whether the Brown decision or Title VI’s deprivation of funds from noncompliant school districts provided civil rights activists with the necessary clout to ensure students have the right to a racially integrated education.
Kelsey D. McCarthy,
The Battle of the Branches: The Impact of the Judiciary and Title VI on Desegregation in the American Public School System,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol52/iss4/10