LOCATION: Trial Court
DOCKET NO.: 78-627
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
CITATION: 443 US 526 (1979)
ARGUED: Apr 24, 1979
DECIDED: Jul 02, 1979
Drew S. Days, III - for the United States, as amicus curiae, by special leave of Court
David C. Greer - for petitioners
Drew S.Days, III -
William E. Caldwell - for respondents
Facts of the case
Media for Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 24, 1979 in Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman
Warren E. Burger:
We'll hear arguments next in 627, Dayton Board of Education against Brinkman.
You may proceed whenever you're ready now, Mr. Greer.
David C. Greer:
Thank you, Your Honor.
Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.
I, at least, was pleased by having the respondents in the Columbus case open by asking that this Court affirm the findings of the trier of the facts, the trial court.
And I would hope that they would open their argument in this case with the same request.
Let me open my argument by attempting to answer in the context of Dayton a legal question and then a factual question that had been posed in the context of Columbus.
At the time this lawsuit was filed in April of 1972, seven years ago, there were 3 -- 57 elementary schools in the Dayton school system, including the middle schools.
There were no all-white elementary schools.
There were three all-black.
There were 11 high schools in the Dayton school district.
None of them were all-white.
Two of them were all-black.
As far as teaching staffs were concerned, the teachers in the Dayton school system were integrated throughout the system on the basis of the same ratio between black and white teachers in each school as there was in the system as a whole.
To turn from the questions posed by Mr. Justice Stewart and Mr. Justice Marshall to the question posed by Mr. Justice Stevens, now which is a legal question, “Was the remedy in Swann correct?”
Let me answer that at least in part by saying that I would stand here and say that every principle enunciated in Swann was correct.
Whether the remedy was correct depends upon what the facts were when that case went back to the trial court and how those facts were presented to the court and what the findings were.
I think I stand here in a culmination of a series of decisions.
There has been some implication or direct indication in some of the briefs filed that we're asking the court to overrule Swann or to overrule Keyes or to overrule some prior decision.
We are here in a case of equity that turns on particular facts and I think that's important.
And I think the principles enunciated in Dayton I grow directly from Swann and the other prior decisions of this Court.
It was in Swann that this Court said that the remedial task is to correct a constitutional violation, the condition that offends the constitution.
It was in Swann that there was reference to the equitable powers of this Court being remedial powers, corrective powers, and that the nature of the violation is what determines the scope of a remedy in a school desegregation case or in any other equitable case.
In Milliken, this Court held that the remedy is necessarily designed, as all remedies are to restore the victims of discriminatory conduct to the position they would've occupied in the absence of such conduct.
That, it seems to me is clearly what the incremental segregative effect standard of Dayton I is.
I would submit to the court that as the trial court found in this case, there was no system-wide violation.
I would also submit to the court, however, that in a case where there is a system-wide violation the equitable principles applicable to cases of this nature require a finding with respect to incremental segregative effect because the remedial purpose is a restorative purpose.
It's not to compare what is to what ought to be in some ideal world in which none of us can ever live.
It's an effort to compare what is to what would have been in the absence of violations.