Taking race into consideration in school assignments is unconstitutional because it violates students' rights under the equal protection clause, the Supreme Court ruled today in a landmark decision that could cause upheaval in K-12 education. The decision, by an increasingly familiar 5-4 vote, invalidates diversity plans in Louisville and Seattle but affects systems across the country.
In invalidating the voluntary plans, the court revealed an increasingly acrimonious split. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts said, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discrimination on the basis of race." In a scorching dissent, Justice Breyer wrote, "This is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret." (Read more school stories.)