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Julius ChambersA Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights$
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Richard A. Rosen and Joseph Mosnier

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628547

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628547.001.0001

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School Desegregation and the Swann Case

School Desegregation and the Swann Case

(p.160) Chapter Nine School Desegregation and the Swann Case
Julius Chambers

Richard A. Rosen

Joseph Mosnier

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines Chambers's and his firm's immense contributions to the legal campaign to end school desegregation in the U.S. Chambers filed federal lawsuits against scores of recalcitrant school districts across North Carolina. His most significant victory was the landmark Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971, hailed as the most significant schools ruling since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Litigating Swann at trial, Chambers convinced federal District Court Judge James B. McMillan to authorize the busing and other remedies to overcome a system of racially dual schools. Later, still just 34-years old, Chambers argued the case for the Legal Defense Fund at the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice Warren Burger's unanimous opinion appeared an unqualified endorsement by the High Court of the use of aggressive remedies finally to defeat school desegregation. By the mid-1970s Charlotte had come to serve as a national model of successful transition to desegregated schools.

Keywords:   Julius Chambers, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, civil rights litigation, school desegregation, U.S. District Court Judge James B. McMillan, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, busing, Chief Justice Warren Burger

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