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After Decades of Action, Supreme Court Cools on School Cases
By Mark Walsh
Justice Robert H. Jackson famously warned in 1948 that the U.S. Supreme Court should not become "a super board of education for every school district in the nation."
Those words came in his concurrence in McCollum v. Board of Education of School District No. 71, a decision striking down release time for religious instruction in public school classrooms. Justice Jackson, who died just months after the 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, did not live to see decades of deepening—and in some quarters welcomed—high court involvement in questions of desegregation, school prayer, student and teacher speech, discipline, student searches, sexual harassment, and special education.