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Washington v. Seattle School District No. 1

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 458 U.S. 457, 102 S. Ct. 3187, 73 L. Ed. 2d 896, 1982 U.S. 151.

Brief Fact Summary. The Seattle School Board mandated busing to expand racial integration in its schools. A majority of statewide voters thereupon passed an initiative terminating the policy of mandatory busing.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Although the political majority may restructure the political process to hinder everyone from seeking to obtain benefits from the government, it may not place special burdens on racial minorities within the political process.

Facts. In 1978, the Seattle School Board voluntarily adopted a plan of mandatory busing to expand racial integration in its schools. In response, opponents of the plan passed a statewide initiative (”Initiative 350″) designed to terminate the policy of mandatory busing. Thereupon, the Seattle School Board sued, challenging the constitutionality of the statewide initiative.

Issue. Was the statewide initiative adopted by the citizens of Washington, overriding the Seattle School Board’s policy of mandatory busing, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution)?

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