Walsh, Camille
March 2011
Berkeley La Raza Law Journal;2011, Vol. 21, p133
Academic Journal
This article examines the culmination of strategic tendencies to combine demands for recognition of class-based and race-based discrimination in the early 1970s. San Antonio independent School District v. Rodriguez was a pivotal case during this period. The Rodriguez claimants were low-income children and families of color whose school district was dramatically unequal in every respect when compared to the local, wealthy, white school district at issue in the case. The Court treated, however, the claims of race and class discrimination that the claimants put forward as entirely independent, and ignored the plaintiff's race claim in order to focus on class alone, which the Court dismissed as a category not entitled to constitutional protection. This article argues that the outcome in Rodriguez was directly tied to legal frameworks that negated the possibility of protecting more than one constitutional category at the same time. The Court's decision provided an economic privacy and local fiscal control rationale that solidified the separation of race and class as categories of constitutional analysis, to the detriment of future claims at the intersection of race and class remedies for segregated and unequal schools.


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