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clark v. board of education

clark v. board of education - Delores CLARK et al...

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Delores CLARK et al., Appellants, v. The BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT et al., Appellees No. 18368 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT 369 F.2d 661; 1966 U.S. App. LEXIS 4025 December 15, 1966 DISPOSITION: [**1] Affirmed in part, reversed in part, remanded. JUDGES: Vogel, Chief Judge, Gibson, Circuit Judge, and Register, District Judge. OPINIONBY: GIBSON OPINION: [*664] GIBSON, Circuit Judge. This appeal presents another of a long series of complaints against the operation of the Little Rock School system and specifically concerns the constitutionality of a school desegregation plan submitted by the Board of Education and approved by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The appellants are five Negro children acting for themselves and as representatives of a class of children similarly situated. The desegregation plan is known generally as a "freedom of choice" plan. The present case has numerous ancestors that have preceded it before this and other courts. The litigation began ten years ago with the filing of a class action seeking the desegregation of the public schools of Little Rock, Arkansas, Aaron v. Cooper, 143 F. Supp. 855 (E.D.Ark. 1956). The Board in that case proposed a gradual desegregation plan, to be fully implemented by 1963, based upon geographical attendance zones. We approved that plan in Aaron v. Cooper, 243 F.2d 361 (8 Cir. 1957), [**2] with the understanding that the District Court would retain jurisdiction to insure the effectuation of the transition to a racially nondiscriminatory school system. The attempted implementation of the plan, however, resulted in the well-known difficulties at Central High School in 1957. Continued official resistance to the law resulted in the enjoining as part of the original Aaron case of various persons, including the Governor of Arkansas, from interfering with the desegregation steps. Thomason v. Cooper, 254 F.2d 808 (8 Cir. 1958); Faubus v. United States, 254 F.2d 797 (8 Cir. 1958), cert. denied 358 U.S. 829, 79 S. Ct. 49, 3 L. Ed. 2d 68. We were then forced to deny an attempt to place a two and one-half year moratorium on integration. Aaron v. Cooper, 257 F.2d 33 (8 Cir. 1958), affd. 358 U.S. 1, 78 S. Ct. 1401, 3 L. Ed. 2d 5. An "emergency session" of the Arkansas legislature in August 1958 resulted in the enactment of legislation under which the Governor closed the Little Rock schools for the 1958-1959 school year, which closing was subsequently held unconstitutional. Aaron v. McKinley, D.C., 173 F. Supp. 944 [**3] (3-judge Court 1959), affd. sub nom. Faubus v. Aaron, 361 U.S. 197, 80 S. Ct. 291, 4 L. Ed. 2d 237. Thereafter, the Board sought to lease the public school facilities to a private school system operating on a racially segregated basis. This Court enjoined that transfer Aaron v. Cooper, 261 F.2d 97 (8 Cir. 1958). The Board continued to fight on. The 1959-1960 school year found the Board assigning students to schools on the basis of criteria found in an Arkansas pupil assignment law. ¤¤ 80-1519 through 80-1547 and 80-1234 Ark.Stats., 1947, Vol. 7 (1960 Replacement). We held in Parham v. Dove, 271 F.2d 132 (8 Cir. 1959) that this statute was not unconstitutional on its face. Thereafter, a number of students challenged the deviation from the geographical
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