U.S. Supreme Court declines to review federal appellate court’s ruling that a Pennsylvania district’s redistricting plan does not violate African-American students’ constitutional rights
MainLineMediaNews.com reports that the United States Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal in the Lower Merion School District (LMSD) redistricting case. The Court denied the nine African-American students’ petition for certiorari in Doe v. Lower Merion School District, Docket No. 11-1135.
The students brought suit after the LMSD school board approved a redistricting plan that mandated that students living in certain areas where the students traditionally attended Lower Merion were now told they had to attend Harriton High School. They claimed the district illegally used race as a consideration in the redistricting process. The suit argued that LMSD selected the students’ neighborhood because it is a predominantly African-American community and the district was trying to equal the number of black students at the two high schools.
A federal district court in Pennsylvania ruled that LMSD’s use of race in its redistricting plan did not violate the students’ constitutional rights. Responding to the Supreme Court’s denial of the petition, LMSD said
“The nation’s highest court today let stand lower Federal judicial decisions in favor of the Lower Merion School District that affirmed the constitutionality of the District’s comprehensive 2009 redistricting plan. The District is pleased the litigation has come to an end with the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear the final appeal filed by opponents of the Plan. The District has consistently maintained that the redistricting policy adopted by the Board and implemented by the Administration was and remains educationally and operationally appropriate, and constitutional.”
Source: MainLineMediaNews.com, 6/18/12, By Richard Ilgenfritz
[Editor's Note: In March 2012, Legal Clips summarized an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported on the students' petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in their bias case against LMSD, asking the Court to review a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.]