439 U.S. 1348 (1978), A-134, Columbus Board of Education v. Penick

Docket Nº:No. A-134
Citation:439 U.S. 1348, 99 S.Ct. 24, 58 L.Ed.2d 55
Party Name:Columbus Board of Education v. Penick
Case Date:August 11, 1978
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 1348

439 U.S. 1348 (1978)

99 S.Ct. 24, 58 L.Ed.2d 55

Columbus Board of Education



No. A-134

United States Supreme Court

Aug. 11, 1978



Application for stay, pending consideration of a petition for certiorari, of Court of Appeals' judgment and mandate affirming an extensive desegregation order for the Columbus, Ohio, public school system is granted, where it appears that such order will place severe burdens, financial and otherwise, on the school system and the community in general and that it is likely that four Justices of the Court will vote to grant certiorari.

See: 583 F.2d 787.

REHNQUIST, J., lead opinion


The Columbus, Ohio, Board of Education and the Superintendent of the Columbus public schools request that I stay execution of the judgment and the mandate of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and execution of the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in this case pending consideration by this Court of their petition for certiorari. The Court of Appeals' judgment at issue affirmed findings of systemwide violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment on the part of the Columbus Board of Education, and upheld an extensive school desegregation plan for the Columbus school system. The remedy will require reassignment of 42,000 students; alteration of the grade organization of almost every elementary school in the Columbus system; the closing of 33 schools; reassignment of teachers, staff, and administrators; and the transportation of over 37,000 students. The 1978-1979 school year begins on September 7, and the applicants maintain that failure to stay immediately the judgment and mandate of the Court of Appeals will cause immeasurable and irreversible harm to the school system and the community.

Page 1349

The respondents are individual plaintiffs and a plaintiff class consisting of all children attending Columbus public schools, together with their parents and guardians.

This stay application comes to me after extensive and complicated litigation. On March 8, 1977, the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio issued an opinion declaring the Columbus school system unconstitutionally segregated and ordering the defendants to develop and submit proposals for a systemwide remedy. 429 F.Supp. 229. That decision predated this Court's opinions in three important school desegregation cases: Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman, 433 U.S. 406 (1977); Brennan v. Armstrong, 433 U.S. 672 (1977); and School District of Omaha v. United States, 433 U.S. 667 (1977). In the lead case, Dayton, this Court held that, when fashioning a remedy for constitutional violations by a school board...

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