In 2003, the Chicago Board of Education and the Department of Justice jointly submitted a proposed modification to the consent decree in the Chicago school desegregation case, U.S. v. Chicago Board of Education. The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee played a significant role in the proceedings, informing the court regarding both the law on termination of consent decrees and the factual situation in Chicago, filing a response to the parties’ proposed modification, and participating in continuing developments. In 2005, the Committee monitors the Board’s use of the mid-year school transfer process to enhance integration in the Chicago Public Schools, and is asked by the district court to participate in proceedings addressing the possible termination of the Modified Consent Decree at the end of the 2005-06 school year.
The Illinois Attorney General appointed the project director of the Employment Opportunity Project to the position of Special Assistant Attorney General, to lead a team of government lawyers in defending the State of Illinois' public contracting program from constitutional attack. During a two-week federal court trial, the trial team argued that the contracting program, administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), must allocate a small percentage of road construction projects to businesses owned by minorities and women as a remedy for historical discrimination against such firms. In 2005, the US District Court rules that IDOT's plan is narrowly tailored to the goal of remedying the effects of racial and gender discrimination within the construction industry.