306 F.3d 646 (9th Cir. 2002), 00-55532, Scott v. Pasadena Unified School Dist.

Docket Nº:00-55532, 00-55666, 00-55789.
Citation:306 F.3d 646
Party Name:Sylvia SCOTT, as Guardian Ad Litem for minors, Detrick Standmore, Kayla Hunter, Michaela Reyes & Ronald Rucker; Rene Amy, as Guardian Ad Litem for minors Camdem Rene Amy & Mariss Laraine Amy; George Francis MacPherson, as Guardian Ad Litem for minor, George Gordon MacPherson; Silvia Jimenez MacPherson, as Guardian Ad Litem for minor George Gordon M
Case Date:September 04, 2002
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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306 F.3d 646 (9th Cir. 2002)

Sylvia SCOTT, as Guardian Ad Litem for minors, Detrick Standmore, Kayla Hunter, Michaela Reyes & Ronald Rucker; Rene Amy, as Guardian Ad Litem for minors Camdem Rene Amy & Mariss Laraine Amy; George Francis MacPherson, as Guardian Ad Litem for minor, George Gordon MacPherson; Silvia Jimenez MacPherson, as Guardian Ad Litem for minor George Gordon MacPherson; Romeo Alva, as Guardian Ad Litem for minor, Jocelyne Alva, Plaintiffs-Appellees-Cross-Appellants,


PASADENA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT; George Van Alstine; George Padilla; Jacqueline Jacobs; Bonnie Armstrong; Lisa Fowler; Vera Vignes, in their individual and official capacities, Defendants-Appellants-Cross-Appellees.

Nos. 00-55532, 00-55666, 00-55789.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 4, 2002

Argued and Submitted Oct. 17, 2001.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Kevin T. Snider, Springfield, MO, for the appellants.

Patricia A. Brannan, Washington, DC, for the appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court Central District of California; Dickran Tevrizian, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. CV-99-01328-DT.

Before: B. FLETCHER, D.W. NELSON, and McKEOWN, Circuit Judges.

BETTY B. FLETCHER, Circuit Judge.

This action arises out of a state and federal constitutional challenge brought by parents Sylvia Scott, Rene Amy, George Gordon MacPherson, Silvia Jimenez MacPherson, and Romeo Alva (collectively "Scott"),1 serving as guardians ad litem on behalf of eight minor student plaintiffs2 enrolled in the Pasadena Unified School District ("PUSD," or the "District"), against the District's 1999-2000 admissions policy governing three voluntary schools. The challenged policy permits race and gender, in addition to other factors, to be taken into account under special circumstances during an admissions lottery. Defendants to the action comprise PUSD, individual members of the PUSD's Board of Education (the "Board"),3 and PUSD Superintendent, Vera Vignes.

Plaintiff-appellees allege that PUSD's use of race as an admissions factor violated

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both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, § 31 of the California Constitution. In addition, plaintiffs allege that they are entitled to damages under California Civil Code § 52 (the "Unruh Act"). PUSD now appeals the district court's order granting summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs' federal and state constitutional claims and denying PUSD's cross-motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiffs lack Article III standing. Plaintiffs cross-appeal the district court's dismissal of their state law damages claim.

We reverse the order of the district court granting summary judgment for the plaintiffs and dismiss all of plaintiffs' claims for failure to establish Article III standing.


A. Factual Summary

This case concerns PUSD's use of weighted lotteries in its magnet school admissions process in an effort to improve the fairness of voluntary pupil assignments and to maintain student body diversity, without sacrificing eligibility for state and federal desegregation funding. In January 1970, PUSD received the dubious distinction of being the first non-Southern school district to be placed under a consent decree by a federal district court in order to remedy de jure racial segregation within its public school system. Spangler v. Pasadena City Bd. of Educ., 311 F.Supp. 501 (C.D.Cal.1970). The court's injunction resulted in a radical restructuring of school attendance zones throughout the city, known as the Pasadena Plan.

The injunction lasted for nine years until PUSD was declared unitary and released from judicial supervision by order of this court. 611 F.2d 1239 (9th Cir. 1979). We overruled the district court's exercise of its equitable discretion to maintain jurisdiction over the District's integration plan based in part upon the Board's "representations that it would continue to engage in affirmative action in the future in support of integration." Id. at 1241. As a result, PUSD formed its first voluntary integration plan in 1980, updating the plan twice in the 1990s to respond to demographic shifts in the district's population.

Consistent with its goal of providing an integrated public education environment, PUSD currently operates three magnet, or voluntary, schools: Don Benito Fundamental School ("Don Benito") including students in grades kindergarten through five, Norma Coombs Alternative School ("Norma Coombs") including students in grades kindergarten through eight, and Marshall Fundamental School ("Marshall") including students in grades six through twelve. Although every PUSD student is assigned to a neighborhood school, a student may also apply voluntarily to one or more of the voluntary schools, so long as the individual school's curriculum covers the student's present grade. The opportunity for superior academic performance and special resources make admission to the voluntary schools desirable for students who are willing to forgo the convenience of attending neighborhood schools.

On March 24, 1998, the Board approved its Integration Policy and Quality Schooling Plan, thereby amending Board Policy 0460.4 According to the policy, the Board

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instituted a lottery system for assigning students to the voluntary schools, to be used only if a school received more applications than it had available spaces.5 The Board amended its voluntary admissions procedures in response to complaints from parents who were previously required to wait in line in order to secure a place for their children on a "first come, first served" basis. When the number of students applying for admission to any particular voluntary school exceeded the number of available spaces, the policy first gave priority to siblings of students already enrolled at the school. If spaces remained available after siblings had been admitted, any remaining unassigned students were to be chosen through a computerized lottery.

Once the Board determined that a lottery was appropriate with regard to any particular school, the policy would permit PUSD to weigh gender, race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language, and special needs as factors within the lottery process for admission to that school. According to the policy, these factors could only be considered "when necessary to create an integrated setting." Board Policy 0460(d) ¶ 8. The use of these factors was further restricted to the selection of students for the entering grades of each voluntary school.

Parents were informed of the amended policy by a letter from Superintendent

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Vignes, dated November 30, 1998. The amended policy was to go into effect beginning with applications submitted in the spring of 1999 for the 1999-2000 school year. The Board provided a three-month window for the submission of applications, opening on January 4, 1999, and closing on March 12,1999.

In February 1999, before the revised admissions policy had been implemented at any voluntary school, Vignes presented a report to the Legislative Council of the California Legislature, documenting the use of state-provided, voluntary desegregation funding by PUSD. The report was required by state law governing the use of desegregation funding.6 In order to maintain eligibility for state voluntary desegregation funding, PUSD was required to demonstrate how programs receiving funding worked both to alleviate the harmful effects of racial segregation and to improve student academic performance.7

In her report, Vignes recounted the District's history of judicial supervision and proclaimed the District's continuing obligation to integrate its public schools. In addition, Vignes presented statistical showings that PUSD's voluntary schools, as well as other schools receiving desegregation funding to support their student transportation programs, consistently outperformed schools that based their enrollment strictly on neighborhood attendance zones. Finally, Vignes represented the lottery system for voluntary school admission as a new amendment to PUSD's longstanding integration policy, furthering the District's effort to comply with state funding requirements.

On April 7, 1999, PUSD conducted lotteries for two of the three voluntary schools, Don Benito and Norma Coombs. Marshall High School, which did not run a deficit of available spaces in 1999, admitted all student applicants without resorting to a lottery. The two minor plaintiffs (Kalya Hunter and Michaela Reyes) who applied to Marshall were admitted for the 1999-2000 school year. In addition, three plaintiffs (Jocelyne Alva, Ronald Rucker, and Detrick Standmore) did not apply to any voluntary school for the 1999-2000 academic cycle.

No minor plaintiff applying to either Norma Coombs or Don Benito was subjected to a lottery process that used race, ethnicity, gender or any other student characteristic as a factor because the applicant pools were determined to be broadly representative of the District's overall student population.8 Two minor plaintiffs (Camden Rene Amy and Marissa Laraine Amy) applied to Norma Coombs, but they simultaneously informed PUSD that they intended to attend Woodrow Wilson Middle School if that school was able to assemble

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its International Baccalaureate Program. Because the aforementioned program was established for the 1999-2000 school year, their applications were withdrawn from Norma Coombs. Finally, the remaining minor plaintiff (George MacPherson) applied to Don Benito, was included in the lottery process held in April 1999, and was not selected.

B. Procedural History

Scott filed the first amended...

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