WASHINGTON v. SEATTLE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1
A Seattle school district adopted a mandatory busing plan to integrate its schools in 1978. The same year, a statewide initiative mandated a neighborhood school policy. The initiative blocked the implementation of Seattle’s mandatory busing plan. School officials challenged the Washington government in federal court.
Does the statewide initiative violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
Yes. The initiative reordered the educational decisionmaking process by moving the power over busing for purposes of integration to state control. This kind of state action places an unconstitutional burden on racial minorities within the governmental process.