Washington v. Seattle School District No. 1

RESPONDENT:Seattle School District No. 1
LOCATION:Residence of Fitzgerald

DOCKET NO.: 81-9
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 458 US 457 (1982)
ARGUED: Mar 22, 1982
DECIDED: Jun 30, 1982

Kenneth O. Eikenberry – Argued the cause for the appellants
Michael W. Hoge – Argued the cause for the appellees

Facts of the case

In 1978, a Seattle school district adopted a mandatory busing plan to integrate its schools. No court or administrative body found the district to be engaged in unlawful segregation. A statewide initiative adopted in 1978 mandated a neighborhood school policy. The policy provided for some exceptions including voluntary busing options and mandatory busing if so ordered by state or federal courts. The initiative blocked the implementation of Seattle’s mandatory busing plan. School officials challenged the Washington government in federal court.


Does the statewide initiative violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?