“The use of race in California, whether or not it’s for segregation purposes or integration purposes, is illegal,” said Sharon Browne, a lawyer at the firm, the Pacific Legal Foundation. “Any type of discrimination is wrong, and the people of California, in adopting 209, said it was wrong.”
Last month the firm filed suit on behalf of Mr. Winsten and other parents, some of whose children would have to travel 13 miles to the high school they might be reassigned to. Lawyers for the foundation have asked a state court judge to bar the school district from implementing the new boundaries until the suit is resolved; the judge denied that request.
The suit against the Capistrano Unified School District is not the first instance in which the foundation has sought to use Proposition 209 to block a voluntary integration plan. It successfully attacked a race-conscious student transfer plan in Huntington Beach, Calif., in 2002. A suit in 2003 to halt a voluntary desegregation plan in Berkeley, however, did not succeed.