“Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez”

On March 21, 1973, the US Supreme Court decided the case of “Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez”.  The ruling concerned a lawsuit brought on behalf of schoolchildren in low income neighborhoods; the school district was 90% Hispanic and 6% African-American. The Supreme Court majority held that a school-financing system based on local property taxes was not an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. Dissenting Justice Thurgood Marshall, an African-American, argued that the courts not only needed to eliminate de jure segregation by race, but also curb the effects of de facto segregation by wealth. These high stakes, Justice Marshall wrote, made it imperative that education be deemed a fundamental right and wealth a suspect classification. (For an inspired story of Justice Thurgood Marshall’s life, please see the 2017 film, Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman (who also starred as 2018’s Black Panther hero.)

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