LOCATION: Mississippi Governor's Office
DOCKET NO.: 90-1205
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1991-1993)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
CITATION: 505 US 717 (1992)
ARGUED: Nov 13, 1991
DECIDED: Jun 26, 1992
Alvin O. Chambliss, Jr. - Argued the cause for the petitioner Ayers
Kenneth W. Starr - Argued the cause for the United States
William F. Goodman, Jr. - Argued the cause for the respondents in both cases
Facts of the case
After 17 years of litigation, Mississippi's public university system remained racially divided. The state had operated legally segregated universities, but had since adopted race-neutral policies to dismantle its de jure segregated system. All students could choose which school to attend, though the choices produced nearly all white and all black institutions of higher learning. This case was decided together with that of Ayers v. Fordice.
Has Mississippi met its affirmative duty under the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause to dismantle its prior dual university system?
Media for United States v. FordiceAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 13, 1991 in United States v. Fordice
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 26, 1992 in United States v. Fordice
Byron R. White:
I have two opinions to announce.
The first one actually deals with two cases 90-1205, United States against Fordice, and 90-6588, Ayers against Fordice.
For reasons stated in an opinion on file with the Clerk, the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is vacated and remanded for further proceedings.
Justices O'Connor and Thomas have filed concurring opinions; Justice Scalia has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part.