Author ORCID Identifier


Document Type


Publication Date



Institutional reform litigation, Supreme Court, Civil Rights Act, Racial segregation, Dallas public schools, Resegregation, Barefoot Sanders


This Article discusses the political and legal barriers that have surfaced to undermine the ability of courts to fashion remedies that offer justice to aggrieved individuals and to render rights-based institutional reform liti­gation a judicial relic. Part II examines the historical development of in­stitutional reform litigation and examines the political factors that created the opportunity for dramatic changes in legal approaches to the issue of racial inequality. Part III examines litigation challenging segregation in Dallas public schools. It also discusses cases filed in the immediate post­-Brown era and contrasts those cases with Judge Sanders's rulings on the subject. In addition, Part III considers social and political changes that informed Judge Sanders's rulings, placing particular emphasis on Su­preme Court rulings and social movement activity that influenced and framed the battle over educational equality in Dallas. Part IV examines the political and doctrinal barriers that have led to the sharp decline of institutional reform litigation and that impede the ability of courts to of­fer relief to subordinate communities. Part IV also considers whether po­litical opportunities exist for reigniting a vigorous commitment to substantive justice within the nation's courts and legislatures.

First Page


Publication Title

SMU Law Review