Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

This Article discusses the political and legal barriers that have surfaced to undermine the ability of courts to fashion remedies that offer justice to aggrieved individuals and to render rights-based institutional reform litigation a judicial relic. Part II examines the historical development of institutional reform litigation and examines the political factors that created the opportunity for dramatic changes in legal approaches to the issue of racial inequality. Part III examines litigation challenging segregation in Dallas public schools. It also discusses cases filed in the immediate post-Brown v. Board of Education era and contrasts those cases with Judge Sanders's rulings on the subject. In addition, Part III considers social and political changes that informed Judge Sanders's rulings, placing particular emphasis on Supreme Court rulings and social movement activity that influenced and framed the battle over educational equality in Dallas. Part IV examines the political and doctrinal barriers that have led to the sharp decline of institutional reform litigation and that impede the ability of courts to offer relief to subordinate communities. Part IV also considers whether political opportunities exist for reigniting a vigorous commitment to substantive justice within the nation's courts and legislatures.

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