Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Renstrom

Second Advisor

Dr. Helenan Robin

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Isaak

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


This thesis examines the existence of activism versus restraint in the Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist Courts in the area of school desegregation, through comparing the contents of the decisions handed down by these respective judicial bodies. The cases that were utilized in this study were specifically chosen because they were the outstanding school desegregation cases of the times.

The issue under examination was to consider if the substance of the various Supreme Court rulings issued by the three Courts reflected the spirit of the remedial objectives of the Warren Court, which originated from the 1954-55 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decisions. The criteria utilized by the Rehnquist Court in determining whether federal remedial supervision should be relaxed were considered. Additionally, the study demonstrated that an evolutionary progression from that of Court interventionism to local school district accommodation emerged as evidenced by successive Court litigation.

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