Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman

PETITIONER:Dayton Board of Education
LOCATION:Craig’s Residence

DOCKET NO.: 76-539
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 433 US 406 (1977)
ARGUED: Apr 26, 1977
DECIDED: Jun 27, 1977

David C. Greer – for petitioners
Louis R. Lucas – for respondents

Facts of the case


Media for Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – April 26, 1977 in Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 27, 1977 in Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in Number 76-539, Dayton Board of Education against Brinkman will be announced by Mr. Justice Rehnquist.

William H. Rehnquist:

This school desegregation case was initially filed in 1972 by parents of Black children attending schools operating — operated by the Dayton, Ohio Board of Education.

The District Court for the Southern District of Ohio found that there was substantial racial imbalance among the schools of the district.

And that in at least two instances, the Board continued to employ optional attendance zones having a tendency to aggravate the racial imbalance and that the Board had rescinded resolutions of a predecessor Board which it acknowledge responsibility for the racially imbalance condition of the schools stating that these three facts are cumulatively a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

The District Court concluded that a remedial desegregation plan was constitutionally required.

On three separate occasions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reviewed remedial plans promulgated by the District Court.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s findings of fact but on the first two occasions, reversed the District Court plans.

The third plan adopted by the District Court employed system wide transportation of pupils as a means of achieving racial balance and that plan was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

In an opinion filed with the clerk today, we vacate the opinion of the Court of Appeals.

The facts found below that constitute an equal protection violation are a very limited significance and do not support the broad system wide remedy finally adopted by the District Court only after it’s repeated reversals by the Court of Appeals.

The plan finally approved by the Court of Appeals does not comply with well-established principles of our cases that the remedy must be tailored to the constitutional violations found.

Only if there is a system wide violation is a system wide remedy warranted.

The case is remanded to the District Court for further findings of fact and for promulgation of a plan tailored to remedying any constitutional violations found.

Mr. Justice Stevens has filed a concurring opinion.

Mr. Justice Brennan has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.

Mr. Justice Marshall took no part in the consideration or decision of this case

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Rehnquist.