A New York Supreme Court judge succinctly shut down an activist organization’s effort to end New York City's Gifted and Talented program this week, noting that that kind of decision is best left to legislatures.

IntegrateNYC filed suit last year against the city for its Gifted and Talented programs, claiming that it created a racial “caste system.” The lawsuit also contended that the school curriculum “centers white experience” and accused the district of failing to recruit diverse staff and “dismantle racism.”

Mark Rosenbaum, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers on the case, called it “the first case in the nation to seek a constitutional right to an anti-racist education,” according to the New York Times. New York Supreme Court Justice Frank P. Nervo dismissed the case Wednesday, arguing in a short paragraph that IntegrateNYC had no grounds for a lawsuit.

“The legislature, not the judiciary, is the proper branch of government to hear petitioners’ prayers,” Nervo wrote in the ruling. “The petition improperly seeks this Court to make education policy and, therefore, presents a nonjusticiable controversy.”

Improperly, indeed. Courts should not make policy. The justice system is not a political tool for advancing activist agendas. It’s designed to uphold the law and our constitutional order. Some in America seem to have forgotten this, especially as the Supreme Court’s approval rating increasingly splits along partisan lines.

Assuming that the differences are due to racism and hastily pinning the blame on the city for violating the state constitution’s Equal Protection Clause was irresponsible of the case’s plaintiffs. These kinds of issues are multifaceted, meaning that they are meant to be hashed out in policy discussions, not the judiciary.

Those who rail against gifted education programs misconstrue unequal outcomes as a justice issue, which is why they seek their remedy in the courts. Yet denying some students what they need because other students struggle is not justice.

When students struggle academically, the answer isn’t dragging excelling students down to meet the lowest common denominator. In a public school classroom with up to 40 students, it’s extremely difficult to tailor instruction to individual student needs. Gifted education programs give students who would otherwise become bored and disillusioned completing too-easy coursework additional challenges and opportunities.

Last month, New York Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to expand the gifted program, adding an additional 100 seats for kindergarten students and 1,000 for third-grade students, City and State New York reports. Though Adams's plan is intended to reach a more diverse group of students by adding seats in every district, some, such as city Comptroller Brad Lander, argue it would lead to segregation.

Unfortunately, eliminating gifted-and-advanced track programs in the name of equity is becoming more frequent. At a San Diego high school, the principal eliminated certain advanced courses from the catalog, upsetting parents. She said she wanted to “remove the stigma from non-honors courses,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported in April. Last September, the Francis Howell School District in Missouri slashed advanced middle school courses in the name of “equity.”

It’s worth asking why disparities exist. But some activists intent on scrapping the whole system won’t even consider the possibility that those disparities are not a result of sinister motives or that the system can even be improved. So, they take to the courts.

Katelynn Richardson is a summer 2022 Washington Examiner fellow.