New Article: “Milliken, Meredith, and Metropolitan Segregation”

New Article: Myron Orfield, Milliken, Meredith, and Metropolitan Segregation, 62 UCLA L. Rev. 364 (2015).  Abstract below:

Over the last sixty years, the courts, Congress, and the President—but mostly the
courts—first increased integration in schools and neighborhoods, and then changed
course, allowing schools to resegregate. The impact of these decisions is illustrated by
the comparative legal histories of Detroit and Louisville, two cities which demonstrate
the many benefits of metropolitan-level cooperation on issues of racial segregation,
and the harms that arise in its absence. Detroit, Michigan, and Louisville, Kentucky,
both emerged from the riots of the 1960s equally segregated in their schools and
neighborhoods with proportionally sized racial ghettoes. In 1974-75, the Supreme
Court overturned a proposed metropolitan school integration plan in Detroit, but
allowed a metropolitan remedy for Louisville-Jefferson schools to stand. Since
that time, Louisville-Jefferson schools and neighborhoods, like all the regions with
metropolitan plans, have become among the most integrated in the nation, while
Detroit’s schools have remained rigidly segregated and its racial ghetto has dramatically
expanded. Detroit’s experience is very common in the highly fragmented metropolitan
areas of the midwestern and northeastern United States. Black students in Louisville-
Jefferson outperform black students in Detroit by substantial margins on standardized
tests. Metropolitan Louisville has also grown healthier economically, while the City of
Detroit went bankrupt and both the city and school district were taken over by state
authorities. The Article concludes with a call to modernize American local government
law by strengthening the legal concepts of metropolitan jurisdictional interdependence
and metropolitan citizenship.

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