Professor John Brittain serves as co-counsel in a lawsuit seeking $2.1 billion to
remedy disparities between Maryland's historically Black colleges and
universities and its traditionally White institutions.
The lawsuit, filed in October
2006 by a group of students and alumni of
historically Black colleges known as the Coalition for Equity and
Excellence in Maryland Higher Education Inc., contends that Maryland has
operated a higher education system of "de jure segregation” - racial
segregation imposed by law - in funding for operations and program
duplication that is in violation of the 1954 Brown v. Board of
Education ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court and of Title VI of the U. S.
Civil Rights Act of 1964. It also alleges that, even as
Maryland negotiated with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S.
Department of Education to dismantle its segregated system, MHEC and
other state education officials instituted policies and programs that
further separated its Black and White schools.