Over strongly worded dissents, a bare majority of the Supreme Court in Milliken v. Bradley rendered the most historic school desegregation decision since Brown v. Board of Education. The Court in Milliken was faced with a Michigan district court decision, affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, holding that: (1) the Detroit public school system was in a state of de jure segregation and (2) the only effective remedy was a metropolitan desegregation plan encompassing the predominantly black Detroit system and fifty-three predominantly white suburban school districts surrounding the city. Although the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the lower courts' finding that the Detroit public school system was segregated de jure, the five justice majority reversed the Sixth Circuit's holding that the metropolitan desegregation remedy was both mandated by the Constitution and lay within the equity powers of federal district courts.
Freeswick, James R.
"Milliken v. Bradley,"
Hofstra Law Review: Vol. 3
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/hlr/vol3/iss2/6