Sunday, May 16, 2004

Excerpts from Virginia cases dealing with desegregation

On running and capping by NAACP lawyers:

"[T]he NAACP, its Virginia Conference, its branches and the Fund are engaged in the unlawful solicitation of legal business for their attorneys. . . ." National Ass'n for Advancement of Colored People v. Harrison, 202 Va. 142, 154, 116 S.E.2d 55, 65 (1960).

"[T]he activities of the NAACP, its affiliates and legal staff shown on this record are modes of expression and association protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments which Virginia may not prohibit, under its power to regulate the legal profession, as improper solicitation of legal business." National Ass'n for Advancement of Colored People v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 428-429 (1963).

"The Committee was initially established in 1956. At the same time the state laws on champerty, maintenance, barratry, running and capping were revised and the definitions of these offenses enlarged to cover the activities of these civil rights organizations. The Committee was authorized to investigate the manner in which the laws of the Commonwealth relating to the administration of justice were being observed and particularly those relating to the statutorily redefined offenses of champerty, maintenance, etc., and to report to the 1958 Legislature with recommendations. In 1958, the Committee was made permanent and its area of special attention enlarged to include the Virginia common law offenses of champerty, barratry, etc., an obvious attempt to escape the attack then being made on the constitutionality of the statutory definitions. The Legislature's original attempts in 1956 to enlarge the common law definitions of champerty and barratry have practically all been declared unconstitutional since that date. Judge Soper in N.A.A.C.P. v. Patty, 159 F.Supp. 503, 511 (D.C.E.D.Va.1958) (a three judge court), reviewed the history of these statutes and others passed at the 1956 extra session, and found that they were expressly passed for the purpose of impeding the integration of the races in the public schools of Virginia. There can be no doubt that this Committee and its predecessor were originally created as part of this plan, notwithstanding counsel's present assertions that it is now concerned with other areas of activity including legal ethics, communist infiltration, the unauthorized practice of law, etc." Jordan v. Hutcheson, 323 F.2d 597, 602-03 (4th Cir. 1963).

On the role of local officials:

"The Board of Supervisors, the governing body of Prince Edward county, has since the school year 1958-59 refused to make appropriation of these necessary funds. It cannot be compelled to do so by the General Assembly, by this court, or by any authority except its own people." County School Bd. of Prince Edward County v. Griffin, 204 Va. 650, 665, 133 S.E.2d 565, 576 (1963).

"[W]e cannot accept the Virginia court's further holding, based largely on the Court of Appeals' opinion in this case, 322 F.2d 332, that closing the county's public schools under the circumstances of the case did not deny the colored school children of Prince Edward County equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Federal Constitution." Griffin v. County School Bd. of Prince Edward County, 377 U.S. 218, 230 (1964).

"Only when it became clear--15 years after our decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483--that segregation in the county system was finally to be abolished, did Emporia attempt to take its children out of the county system. Under these circumstances, the power of the District Court to enjoin Emporia's withdrawal from that system need not rest upon an independent constitutional violation." Wright v. Council of City of Emporia, 407 U.S. 451, 459 (1972).

"The elective system continued in Arlington County until 1956, when the County school board agreed to desegregate its school system in compliance with Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). The state legislature, in an effort "to impede Arlington's ability to comply with court-ordered desegregation," Irby, 693 F.Supp. at 433, repealed the 1947 law that had allowed elected school boards. The new law proclaimed that 'no school board shall be elected by popular vote in and for any county or city.'" Irby v. Virginia State Bd. of Elections, 889 F.2d 1352, 1354 (4th Cir. 1989).

"Until 1969, the Board approved private tuition grants for white parents so that their children could attend private school. Such grants often paid tuition to the all-white Brunswick Academy, a private school founded when federal law required school desegregation." Smith v. Board of Sup'rs of Brunswick County, 801 F. Supp. 1513, 1517 (E.D. Va. 1992).

On the timing of desegregation:

"It had been two years since the first decision of the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education and, despite repeated demands upon them, the boards of education had taken no steps towards removing the requirement of segregation in the schools which the Supreme Court had held violative of the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs. This was not 'deliberate speed' in complying with the law as laid down by the Supreme Court but was clear manifestation of an attitude of intransigence . . . ." School Bd. of City of Charlottesville, Va. v. Allen, 240 F.2d 59, 64 (4th Cir. 1957).

"[T]he School Board of Arlington County has since 1956 been under injunctive orders approved by this court, prohibiting racial segregation in the Arlington public schools." Wanner v. County School Bd. of Arlington County, Va., 357 F.2d 452, 453 (4th Cir. 1966).

"[T]he 'grade-a-year' plan, promulgated by the Lynchburg School Board, for initial implementation eight years after the first Brown decision, cannot now be sustained." Jackson v. School Bd. of City of Lynchburg, Va., 321 F.2d 230, 233 (4th Cir. 1963).

"Delays in desegregating school systems are no longer tolerable." Bradley v. School Bd., City of Richmond, Va., 382 U.S. 103, 105 (1965).

"[W]e think any subsequent order, in light of the appellants' complaints should incorporate some minimal, objective time table." Bowman v. County School Bd. of Charles City County, Va., 382 F.2d 326, 329 (4th Cir. 1967).

"The burden on a school board today is to come forward with a plan that promises realistically to work, and promises realistically to work now." Green v. County School Bd. of New Kent County, Va., 391 U.S. 430, 439 (1968).

"[I]t is virtually conceded and established beyond question that, albeit belatedly, Richmond has at this juncture done all it can do to disestablish to the maximum extent possible the formerly state-imposed dual school system within its municipal boundary." Bradley v. School Bd. of City of Richmond, Va., 462 F.2d 1058, 1061 (4th Cir. 1972).

"In the light of the history of state-enforced segregation in the Danville schools, the marked residual disparity in the racial balance of the schools under the plan of the District Court strongly suggests that the plan is ineffective to attain an acceptable degree of realistic desegregation." Medley v. School Bd. of City of Danville, Va., 482 F.2d 1061, 1063 (4th Cir. 1973).

"In 1975, the district court in Beckett found that the Norfolk school system had "satisfied its affirmative duty to desegregate, that racial discrimination through official action [had] been eliminated from the system and that the Norfolk School System [was] 'unitary'." That holding marked the culmination of almost two decades of desegregation litigation in Norfolk." Riddick by Riddick v. School Bd. of City of Norfolk, 784 F.2d 521, 529-30 (4th Cir. 1986).

On the employment of teachers here in Washington County:

"The Washington County school system was desegregated in 1963. At that time there were six black elementary teachers. There remained six black elementary teachers and no black high school teachers until 1981 when Dennis Hill, following an EEOC complaint, was hired as a physical education teacher and coach for one of the high schools. He remained the only black high school teacher in the county schools. Apart from Hill, no black teacher was hired from 1975 until 1988, after this action was filed. In 1988, the superintendent, having learned that an elderly black teacher was retiring, requested Hill to recruit another black teacher. Wittingly or unwittingly, the Board has limited black teachers over the years to a rather rigid quota." Thomas v. Washington County School Bd., 915 F.2d 922, 924-25 (4th Cir. 1990).

Beyond desegregation:

"A state-mandated dual school system admittedly infects society as a whole. It inflicts poverty and many other ills on the students who receive an inferior education, and its effects last at least through those students' lifetimes. But a school desegregation plan cannot remedy these general societal ills, even when they indirectly affect current students." School Bd. of the City of Richmond, Va. v. Baliles, 829 F.2d 1308, 1314 (4th Cir. 1987).

"Our earlier involvement concerned the desegregation of the Arlington County school system. This preceding chapter was brought to a close in Hart v. County School Bd. of Arlington County, Virginia, where we affirmed the remedial policy of the Arlington County School Board ("School Board") to achieve a unitary school district. 459 F.2d 981, 982 (4th Cir. 1972). The current chapter brings us full circle. In the present case, we examine the admissions policy ("Policy") of the Arlington Traditional School ("ATS"), whose goal was not to remedy past discrimination, but rather to promote racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity." Tuttle v. Arlington Cty. School Bd., 195 F.3d 698, 700 (4th Cir. 1999).

No comments: