Published Online: June 21, 2005
Published in Print: June 22, 2005, as Full Federal Appeals Court Backs Integration Plan in Lynn, Mass.

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Full Federal Appeals Court Backs Integration Plan in Lynn, Mass.

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A federal appeals court ruled last week that the voluntary integration plan used by the Lynn, Mass., schools is constitutional.

The 3-2 ruling by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, in Boston, overturned a ruling against the plan last fall by a three-judge panel of the same court. ("Mass. District’s Race-Based Transfer Policy Struck Down," Oct. 27, 2004.)

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in 2003 in cases involving the use of race in admissions at the University of Michigan and its law school, the June 16 decision said the 15,000-student district “has a compelling interest in securing the educational benefits of racial diversity.”

The plan, which is designed to achieve the educational benefits of such diversity, considers a student’s race and the racial makeup of schools in determining whether a pupil may transfer between schools.

The plaintiffs in the case, Comfort v. Lynn School Committee, said they would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Vol. 24, Issue 41, Page 4

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