Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


Sheff v. O'Neill, which is to be decided by the Connecticut Supreme Court this year, is the first case in two decades to challenge the doctrine and rationale of federal school desegregation cases, i.e., that a metropolitan-wide remedy cannot be employed to cure metropolitan-wide school segregation unless state action, infused with discriminatory intent has caused such segregative conditions. The Sheff case is considered a landmark case because it is the first to challenge the federal approach in a state court on the basis of state constitutional provisions alone.

This Article argues that the federal state action discriminatory intent, causation standard should be rejected by state courts acting under their own constitutions. Moreover, the Article sets forth an alternative analytical framework which might enable state courts to resolve, rather than to perpetuate metropolitan-wide segregation.