Federal Judge Finds Racism Behind Arizona Law Banning Ethnic Studies

August 23, 2017

An Arizona law banning ethnic studies violated students’ constitutional rights, a federal judge said Tuesday. His ruling made clear that the state showed discriminatory intent when it essentially shut down a Mexican-American Studies program at Tucson Unified School District.

“Both enactment and enforcement were motivated by racial animus,” Federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima said in the ruling.

With this news, a portion of the law, prohibiting classes designed for students of certain ethnic groups, has been struck down, but the federal judge has yet to issue a final judgment and redress for the violation.

Despite this decade-long debate in Arizona, ethnic studies programs have grown in popularity throughout the country.

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