Washington Law Review


David Crump


A court deciding a constitutional case should announce a clear principle, one that the people can easily understand and follow. At the same time, such a decision should be pragmatic, in that it should effectively accomplish its goals while treating all affected persons fairly. The simultaneous fulfillment of these two criteria, however, can sometimes be extraordinarily difficult. In this article, Professor Crump considers how well the school desegregation remedies ordered by the Supreme Court fit the tests of principle and pragmatism. He concludes that the early decisions, as well as many of the later ones, do not achieve both goals, but there is hopeful prospect that the recent termination-of-supervision decisions may fulfill them better.

First Page