Beacon Files Supreme Court Brief to Defend Equality Under the Law


May 16, 2024 12:26PM

Racial discrimination is morally wrong and a barrier to opportunity. Today, Beacon filed a brief urging the United States Supreme Court to strike a blow for equality under the law. 

Boston Parent Coalition v. School Committee for the City of Boston involves yet another push for “equity” in schools. For decades, admission to Boston’s top public schools was based off performance: students with the top GPA and test scores got in. Yet the Boston school board didn’t like the racial composition of the schools, and directed a working group to craft an admissions plan that would reduce the number white and Asian students. The process turned ugly. The board’s chair was caught mocking Chinese names while his colleagues laughed in response. The new admissions plan used a zip code quota to keep out high-performing white and Asian students. As a result, the percentage of white and Asian students fell from 61% to 49%. 

A coalition of parents sued the board for discriminating against their children. Yet a federal appeals court ruled against them merely because “many” white and Asian students were still admitted under the new admissions policy. The parents, represented by our friends at Pacific Legal Foundation, are now asking the Supreme Court to take up the case. 

Beacon filed a brief in support of these parents. Our brief, which is joined by Goldwater Institute, the Puerto Rico Institute for Economic Liberty, and Jonathan Roberts, notes the disturbing rise in government programs that discriminate in recent years. These programs have called for racial discrimination in loan forgiveness, small business grants, and even medical treatment. Tennessee law places racial quotas on numerous government boards. These programs transgress the promise of “liberty and justice for all” by limiting benefits only to members of favored racial groups. 

The Boston school board’s admissions overhaul in this case is yet another attempt at racial balancing. It treats opportunity as something the government must hand to a person because of the happenstance of that person’s racial group. The Constitution rejects this thinking. It requires the government to treat each person as an individual. In a free society, a person earns his opportunities not by birthright, but by effort and achievement.  

Beacon will continue to fight for opportunity for all. School choice provides all students with a shot to attend the school that best fits their educational needs. And our legal wins have dismantled senseless barriers to economic opportunity. Many Tennesseans benefitted from fresh starts in education and enterprise. Many more would also benefit if the government stopped discriminating against them.