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Justice William Wayne Justice, presiding over the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, entered a ruling that would come to be one of the most heavy-handed attacks on the segregation of public schools in Texas- often referred to as Civil Order 5281. The case was brought by the United States Department of Justice, who charged nine school districts in Eastern Texas with practicing de jure or de facto segregation. In his ruling, Justice Justice gave power to the Texas Education Agency to and punish those schools that are found to be in non-compliance. This ruling is often considered to be the killing blow for de jure segregation in Texas, but as the years have passed, it has lost its teeth for various reasons- culminating in a ruling in 2008 (by Justice Justice himself, ironically) that declared Civil Order 5281 could not apply to any schools other than those included in the original 1970 case.


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