Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute discusses what happens when legally and factually misconceived notions of racial fairness result in plainly unconstitutional quotas:
Crimes and infractions are not evenly distributed across racial groups, as the Supreme Court noted in United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996)…. But the Maryland Board of Education has chosen to ignore reality by proposing a rule that would require school systems to discipline and suspend students in numbers correlated to their race, and require school systems that currently don’t do so to implement plans to eliminate any racially “disproportionate impact” over a three-year period. Thus, it is imposing quotas in all but name.
In doing so, the Board of Education is apparently unaware of a federal appeals court decision in Chicago that ruled that schools cannot use either racial proportionality rules, or quotas, for school discipline, since that violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. See People Who Care v. Rockford Board of Education, 111 F.3d 528, 534 (7th Cir. 1997). That court ruling also said that a school cannot use race to offset “disparate” or “disproportionate impact,” and that doing so is not a valid kind of affirmative action….
The fact that there are disparities in suspension rates does NOT prove discrimination. For example, in a ruling by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the Supreme Court said that it is “completely unrealistic” to argue that minorities should be represented in each field or activity “in lockstep proportion to their representation in the local population.” (See Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469, 507 (1989)). In an earlier ruling, Justice O’Connor noted that it is “unrealistic to assume that unlawful discrimination is the sole cause of people failing to gravitate to jobs and employers in accord with the laws of chance.” (See Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust Co., 487 U.S. 977, 992 (1988).)…
The fact that a higher percentage of black students are suspended than whites in most schools reflects greater infraction rates associated with poverty and single-parent households — not racism against minorities by school officials….
Maryland’s Unconstitutional School Discipline Quotas (OpenMarket.org)