Metropolitan Desegregation in the Wake of Milliken—On Losing Big Battles and Winning Small Wars: The View Largely from Within


This Article presents, first, a discussion of the character of the problem of metropolitan desegregation and why urban and suburban school district lines must be crossed for there to be meaningful desegregation of many urban school districts. Second is a presentation of the legal posture and societal setting in which the question of metropolitan desegregation arises. Third is an examination of the Milliken litigation in terms of the cases leading up to the decision, the theory advanced by the plaintiffs, the basis of the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions, and the significance of the decision as a guide to future developments in this area. Fourth is a discussion of what I believe to be the proper strategy in the wake of Milliken, as illustrated by the Louisville-Jefferson County litigation and other “contemporary” Milliken cases. Concluding the Article is a forecast of future developments.


Schools and school districts, Segregation



Robert Allen Sedler (Wayne State University Law School)



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