Constitutional Law Education

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Does the Supreme Court's Marriage Decision Protect Religious Entities?

COMMENTARY: For faithful Christians, Jews and Muslims, the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges leaves more questions than answers. In the days running up to today’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage ...more

Supreme Court Ruling Avoids Major Complications for Mandatory Reporters

Last week, the United States Supreme Court overturned a controversial decision by the Ohio Supreme Court holding that statements given by a preschool student to his teacher were tantamount to statements to police, and so...more

RLUIPA Round-Up

We’re a little late with the round-up, but promise to continue our effort to bring you interesting stories from the intersection of religion and government. - Mayfair, Pennsylvania residents feel disappointment after...more

New Amendment to the Federal Labor Law in Mexico Raises Minimum Age for Employment

On June 12, 2015, a new amendment to the Federal Labor Law (FLL) was published in the Official Gazette, increasing the minimum age for employment from 14- to 15-years-old. This amendment is consistent with the...more

Appellate Court Confirms that Convicted Felon Cannot Run for School Board Seat

On May 13, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court’s First District held that the former Board President of an Illinois high school district’s Board of Education was ineligible to fill a vacancy on the board following his previous...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Recent Facebook Decision Impact Schools?

In a recent decision, Elonis v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court held that in order to convict a man for alleged threats made against his wife on Facebook, the prosecutor must show some level of intent. It was not enough...more

FAIL: For-Profit Education Sector Dealt Major Blow

For-profit education was dealt a major blow in a federal court case challenging the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment Rule. U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan of New York dismissed a lawsuit that was filed last...more

OSERS Issues New Guidance Regarding State and Due Process Complaints

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has issued new guidance in response to concern that some public agencies are filing due process complaints concerning the same...more

Teacher Discipline Pursuant to §3020-a of the New York State Education Law: Significant Changes

Several years ago, there were changes made to §3020-a intended to streamline the process of disciplining a tenured teacher/administrator. Effective July 1, 2015, even more significant changes have been made to the statute...more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2015

Religious institutions commonly keep ministry supporters and members abreast of developments through newsletters, correspondence and other communications. Sometimes, the developments reported are embarrassing to those...more

Illinois Federal Court Addresses Lawsuit by Christian Leafletter on Public School Property

In a recent decision in the Northern District of Illinois, a trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a school district in a lawsuit stemming from the arrest of a local resident who was leafleting and proselytizing...more

NYSED Releases Memo on Selection and Appointment of Impartial Hearing Officers

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) released a filed advisory memo on the selection and appointment of impartial hearing officers to conduct a special education due process hearing....more

OSEP Urges LEAs to Respect Parents’ Choice of Dispute Resolution Process

On April 15, 2015, the Office for Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter regarding the interaction between the due process hearing system and the state...more

Tinker, Take Two

Two legendary figures in the ongoing fight for student free speech rights are asking the Supreme Court to revisit this thorny area of First Amendment jurisprudence. John and Mary Beth Tinker were petitioners forty-six years...more

DWT Asked To Serve As Legal Counsel for Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project

Constitution Day 2013 was a pretty bad day for the Constitution on our public university campuses. That was the day that Robert Van Tuinen of Modesto Junior College in California was prevented from passing out copies of the...more

See You In Court - April 2015

The almost-interminable winter was finally over, and Peter Principal saw a significant uptick in the number of suspensions for offenses ranging from horseplay to assault. To make things worse, many of the students had their...more

Illinois Court Finds Teaching the “N” Word is Not Protected by the First Amendment

Recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois addressed whether a teacher could be disciplined for using the word “n*gger” in a sixth grade classroom. In Brown v. Board of Education of the...more

The UNC Former Student-Athletes’ Litigation: The Defense Enters the Field

We wrote last month about the lawsuit filed against the University of North Carolina and the NCAA by former UNC student-athletes Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsey....more

April 3, 2015 Legislative Update

Spring Break Y’all - For the first time we can recall the House and Senate will take Spring Break next week. The House announced last month it will have Spring Break while the Senate announced it will hold skeletal...more

Court Finds Muslim Group Lacks Property Interest and Tosses RLUIPA Suit; Pittsfield Charter Township Wins

A federal court in Michigan has ruled against a Muslim group in its RLUIPA suit against Pittsfield Charter Township after finding that the group lacked a legally cognizable property interest to sustain its claims. To...more

Federal Court Dismisses Accused Student’s Title IX Lawsuit Against Vassar College

Last week, a federal judge in New York (Abrams, J.) dismissed an accused student’s lawsuit against Vassar College alleging that the institution discriminated against him by failing to conduct an equitable investigation into a...more

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in O’Bannon v. NCAA

On March 17, 2015, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Chief Judge Sidley R. Thomas, Circuit Judge Jay S. Bybee and Senior U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist, of the Western District of Michigan heard oral argument in...more

Recent Case Reminds Schools of First Amendment and Title VII Responsibilities in Employment Context

Recently, the Northern District of Illinois issued its opinion in Wong v. Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District 15. Although the court’s decision does not address novel arguments or depart from prior...more

New York’s Property Tax Cap Wins Again

In 2013 we reported on NYSUT‘s lawsuit which claimed that New York’s recently-enacted property tax “cap” was unconstitutional. The thrust of NYSUT’s 2013 arguments against the cap were that it (1) harmed school districts that...more

Landmark Tax Credit Scholarship Program Upheld by Alabama Supreme Court

On March 2 in an 8-1 decision, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 (the “Act”) in Magee et al. v. Boyd et al. The massive 222-page opinion affirmed in part, but...more

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