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Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education (1986) addressed Equal Protection Clause jurisprudence concerning the use of racial classifications as applied to public school teachers who lose their jobs as part of an agreed-on reduction in force. In Wygant, a plurality of the Supreme Court agreed that it is necessary to apply strict scrutiny even when integration, not segregation, is the state's goal and that general concerns about societal discrimination are an insufficient ground for employing racial classifications. As specifically applied to education, Wygant is also cited as a dismissal of a “role model” theory as justification for race-conscious practices. Most recently, Wygant was cited for these propositions in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007).

Facts of the Case

Wygant involved a ...

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