Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Push to Pressure DOJ Away from Enforcing Desegregation in Louisiana

When I first posted on DOJ's motion to enjoin vouchers in Louisiana until the district court could determine whether they had the effect of violating standing court ordered desegregation,  I assumed that no one but the few remaining desegregation junkies and the few students affected by it would pay it much attention.  DOJ's motion was standard fare for a desegregation case and, in comparison to other current desegregation battles, is of relatively small importance.  I seriously underestimated the politics of this case, which explains why I am a law professor.

I have no doubts on the law here, but what is becoming increasingly clear is that no one else really cares what the law is.  All that seems to matter are the politics and, rather than a story dies quickly, this one has legs due to the ratcheting up of the politics.  Two cases in point.  The Chicago Tribune issued a stinging editorial on Sunday titled United States v. minority children.  Now, former Governor Jeb Bush, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education are joining Governor Jindal in hosting a press conference at the National Press Conference tomorrow to discuss the lawsuit.  Earlier, House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, asked why Obama wants to keep poor kids out of good schools. 

Maybe, the escalating politics suggest a new answer to the question in my second post: why is Louisiana seeking to delay the hearing in this case?  The new answer may be that it gives the state more time to turn up the politics and distract the district court from the legal question, which is a slightly different game--albeit still a game--than the one I posited earlier.


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