Cultural Revolutions

Rockford School Case

The Rockford school case continues, and, as the most recent ruling by Magistrate P. Michael Mahoney makes clear, there is no end in sight. On August 11, the imperial ruler of Rockford denied the school board's motion for "unitary status," a legal term denoting the end of court control. In itself, that's no surprise: Other than a couple of board members with delusions of grandeur, no one expected this case to end after only 11 years and one-quarter of a billion dollars. Still, the vehemence of the magistrate's attack on the "white majority" of the school board for appearing on a stage with a "co-founder of . . . the League of the South" (namely, the editor of this magazine) struck most people in Rockford as a bit excessive.

The second Rally for Rockford, to which the magistrate referred, took place on February 16, 1998, and featured, among others, Don Manzullo, the congressman for Illinois' 16th District, and Stephen Presser, the legal affairs editor for Chronicles and the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History at Northwestern University School of Law. (See Cultural Revolutions, May and July 1998.) Interestingly, Mahoney fails to note their presence at the event, and he doesn't acknowledge that it was sponsored by The Rockford Institute, rather than the League of the South (which had nothing to do with it). Instead, he characterizes the rally as a series of "rousing...

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