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William Wayne Justice Papers

Desegregation: United States v. Texas

United States v. Texas, 321 F. Supp. 1043 (E.D. Tex. 1970),
supplemented by 330 F. Supp. 235 (E.D. Tex. 1971)

In November 1970, Judge Justice ordered the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to assume responsibility for desegregating Texas public schools.  The ruling in United States v. Texas (also referred to as Civil Order 5281) applied to the entire Texas public school system, affecting over 2.5 million children.

John Tyler High School In July 1971, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmedJudge Justice’s decision. (United States v. Texas, 447 F.2d 441 (5th Cir., 1971)).However, school districts that were under or would later fall under the desegregation orders of other federal courts were removed from Judge Justice’s jurisdiction. Even with this modification, the order applied to over two million students in more than 1,000 school districts.

John Tyler High School, Tyler, Texas

Judge Justice’s order had far-reaching effects on the Texas public school system and required scrutiny of transfers between districts, prohibited discrimination in extracurricular activities and personnel practices, and mandated yearly reviews of districts with high and low minority populations.

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