James MacGregor Burns & Susan Dunn: Criticize the Supreme Court's School Decision

Historians in the News

To the Editor:

The Supreme Court’s decision to block the use of race for school integration tragically sets the clock as well as the quest for equality back in time.

If the next president is a Democrat, he or she will try to undo the damage created by the Bush administration, but will be confronted with a reactionary Supreme Court, just as Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the 1930s.

But while a majority of the members of the high court in the ’30s were close to retirement age, the conservative members of the present court will doubtless remain on the bench for 20 to 30 more years.

Roosevelt’s attempt to circumvent the high court with his court-packing plan failed. Perhaps the next president will find a better solution to the problem of an obstructionist Supreme Court.

James MacGregor Burns

Susan Dunn

Williamstown, Mass., June 29, 2007

The writers teach at Williams College and are co-authors of “The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America.”

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