"Shifting Sands: The Jurisprudence of Integration Past, Present, and Future"

Michigan Law Authors
Areas of Interest
Publish Date
Howard Law Journal
Publication Type
Journal Article

The idea of integration as a positive social good has waxed and waned since the 1950s. During the civil rights era, the concept of integration was pressed onto the national consciousness via the vehicle of Brown v. Board of Education and its aftermath. Over time, the radical nature of integration as articulated in the Brown decision lost its force. Integration today, at least on the K-12 level, has few champions. What is surprising is that integration has recently received a substantial shot in the arm from an unlikely quarter. late last term, the Supreme Court issued Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld the University of Michigan Law School's affirmative action program against constitutional challenge. Grutter suggests that integration is absolutely imperative if we as a society seek to be competitive in the twenty-first century. However, integration was affirmed in Grutter not because it was seen as enhancing the lives of Americans more generally. An appreciation of this key distinction will be vital if we wish to translate Grutter's affirmation of diversity into a new agenda that will support and champion integration into the future.

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