WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected public school assignment plans that take account of students’ race.
The decision in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle could imperil similar plans in hundreds of districts nationwide, and it leaves public school systems with a limited arsenal to maintain racial diversity.
The court split, 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the court’s judgment. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a dissent that was joined by the court’s other three liberals.
Death row decision
In a separate decision, the court also blocked the execution of a Texas killer whose lawyers argued that he should not be put to death because he is mentally ill.
Scott Louis Panetti shot his in-laws to death 15 years ago in front of his wife and young daughter.
Panetti knows what he did, but believes that he is on death row because he preaches the word of God, his lawyers say.
Panetti’s lawyers wanted the court to determine that people who cannot understand the connection between their crime and punishment because of mental illness may not be executed.