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Thu, 07.25.1974

Milliken v. Bradley is Decided

*On this date in 1974, Milliken v. Bradley was decided. This was a significant United States Supreme Court case dealing with the planned desegregation busing of public school students across district lines among 53 school districts in metropolitan Detroit.

It concerned the plans to integrate public schools in the United States following the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision. The ruling clarified the distinction between de jure and de facto segregation, confirming that segregation was allowed if it was not considered an explicit school district policy. In particular, the Court held that the school systems were not responsible for desegregation across district lines unless it could be shown that they had each deliberately engaged in a segregation policy.

The case did not expand on Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971), the first major Supreme Court case concerning school busing.

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