President Ronald Reagan vetoes a bill that allocated $20 million to implement a school desegregation program in Chicago.
1983 (Aug 13)
President Ronald Reagan vetoed a bill that allocated $20 million to implement a school desegregation program in Chicago. The desegregation had been ordered by United States District Court Judge Milton I. Shadur on June 30, 1983. In that order, the judge said that the federal government should allocate more than $14 million for desegregating Chicago's schools in 1983-1984 and set aside $250 million more for possible distribution in the next five years. Pending resolution of the case, Shadur also ordered that $55 million allocated for other education programs across the nation be frozen. But in July 1983, he freed $6.5 million of the amount. In his veto message, President Reagan said: "The Chicago court's ostensible purpose in issuing this order was to provide a source of funds for the implementation of its decree. . . . Congress hoped by the passage of this legislation to induce the court to release the funds that were impounded by the court. But I believe that the better course is to seek swift reversal of the district court's order.” The president added that the government would pay the money mandated by the court if the decision was upheld, but he claimed that it was "inappropriate . . . for a court to withhold millions of dollars worth of unrelated and necessary education programs to enforce its orders.”