Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case Seeking to Revamp Alabama’s Tax System to Increase Higher Education Opportunities for Young Blacks

A group of African Americans in Alabama filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s property tax system. The suit claims that property taxes in the state were so low that Alabama had to subsidize public K-12 education through the general tax fund. This, in turn, took money away from the public higher education system resulting in higher tuition at state-run universities. The higher tuition makes it difficult for many low-income black families to afford higher education. The suit sought to overturn the property tax so more state funds could be used for higher education in order to increase the educational opportunities for young blacks and other low-income students.

A federal district court judge in Alabama held a hearing on the suit and decided that it had no merit. The plaintiffs appealed the decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, which refused to hear the case. A final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court resulted in a denial of certiorari without comment.