Justice Gary S. Stein (Ret.) Quoted in New Jersey Monitor Discussing Upcoming Arguments in the N.J. School Segregation Lawsuit
Justice Gary S. Stein (Ret.), special counsel at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in the New Jersey Monitor article “’N.J.’s school segregation lawsuit returns to court this week.” The article discusses the pending school segregation case against the State of New Jersey claiming that persistent segregation has violated the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of New Jersey’s students. Michael S. Stein, Chair and Managing Partner at Pashman Stein, serves as co-counsel to the plaintiffs, who filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to rule, based on undisputed facts, that the existing levels of racial segregation in New Jersey’s public schools violate the New Jersey Constitution and statutes as a matter of law, eliminating the necessity of a trial on the question of liability. Oral arguments on that motion are scheduled for March 3, 2022 at 10 am ET.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein launched the legal fight on behalf of the New Jersey Coalition for Diverse and Inclusive Schools, a nonprofit representing more than 20 organizations seeking to change the structure of New Jersey’s schools.
“It’s very complicated. You can’t just push a button. You have to figure out a new way to determine where children in urban districts will go to school, what direction children in the suburbs will go,” Stein said in a phone interview.
Currently, a “zip code policy” is in place requiring New Jersey public school students to attend the schools within the municipality where they live, Stein explained.
Stein filed the lawsuit on the 64th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared racially segregated schools unconstitutional.
“We’re cautiously optimistic that after the judge reads our argument and our extensive briefs, the judge will agree with us that New Jersey schools are unconstitutionally segregated,” Stein said. “We think the chances are strong because the evidence is overwhelming from the state’s own website. It’s devastating.”
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