Brown v. Board of Education was a “Political Restructuring Case”?

April 22nd, 2014

Has anyone else heard of this account of Brown v. Board of Education, as noted in Justice Sotomayor’s Schuette dissent.

This Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S. 483 (1954), triggered a new era of political restructuring, this time in the context of educa- tion. In Virginia, the General Assembly transferred con- trol of student assignment from local school districts to a State Pupil Placement Board. See B. Muse, Virginia’s Massive Resistance 34, 74 (1961). And when the legisla- ture learned that the Arlington County school board had prepared a desegregation plan, the General Assembly “swiftly retaliated” by stripping the county of its right to elect its school board by popular vote and instead making the board an appointed body. Id., at 24; see also B. Smith, They Closed Their Schools 142–143 (1965).

This is certainly a different account of Brown. Were these facts present in Topeka, KS, or Washington, D.C., or any of the other cases consolidated? The only sources cited are from a few years after Brown. I can’t recall anything in the Brown opinion that even alludes to these facts. But good for Arlington!