This Article examines the conflict between preserving local autonomy and remedying constitutional violations in the context of school desegregation. It articulates the problem by exploring the role of the city and its part in institutional reform. It examines what is meant by local autonomy and institutional reform in the context of the ongoing struggle in Kansas City, Missouri. It examines how the Supreme Court has viewed the relationship between the remedial powers of district courts and municipal autonomy of local governments. Finally, it argues for a more coherent system of balancing judicial involvement and local government autonomy in fashioning remedial orders. The Article concludes that consideration of local autonomy only belongs in the formulation stage of the remedial process. A local government's cooperation and participation in the formulation phase will lead to a remedial plan that cab be more successfully implemented than one that is court-imposed.



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