Education Constitutional Law

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Bennett v. Pima County Community College

Attorneys Obtain Unanimous Defense Verdict in an "English Only" Trial. Georgia Staton and Elizabeth Gilbert, attorneys at Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, P.L.C., obtained a unanimous verdict in favor of Pima County Community...more

Caitlyn on the track: Athletics, Title IX, and the transgender community

In our previous post, we discussed emerging federal policy regarding the application of federal anti-discrimination laws to the transgender community. We focused, in particular, on the “Statement of Interest” filed earlier...more

U.S. Supreme Court Set to Rehear University of Texas Affirmative Action Case

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would revisit Fisher v. Texas, the affirmative action case it initially heard in 2013.  The first time it heard the case, the Court remanded the case to the lower court to...more

Hidden Risks? What Liability Can Private Colleges and Universities Have for Their Student Newspapers and Publications?

It is well-settled that public institutions are generally not liable for statements made by their student publications because the First Amendment prohibits them from exercising control over such publications. See, e.g.,...more

Location, Location, Location: The Property Underneath the Feet of Speakers Matters When Determining Whether A Public Institution...

Benjamin Bloedorn is an itinerant preacher who travels from college campus to college campus, loudly proclaiming his evangelical message for hours on end to anyone within earshot. In March 2008 he arrived at Georgia Southern...more

Judge Moon and Civil Rights Lawsuits Against Bedford County Public Schools

Judge Moon has ruled on two cases in the past month involving constitutional civil rights issues and public schools. In L.E.A. v. Bedford County School Board, Judge Moon denied a preliminary injunction prohibiting the...more

Open Carry and Campus Carry: Expanded Handgun Rights in Texas in 2016 and Beyond

In its most recent session, the Texas legislature passed two bills related to handgun possession in Texas.  House Bill No. 910 (HB 910) legalizes open carry of handguns in Texas.  Senate Bill No. 11 (SB 11) allows handgun...more

Religious Institutions: August 2015

The decision by the United States Supreme Court on same-sex marriage has been greeted with praise and disdain by different corners of the country. The faith-based community has been especially outspoken. This is not...more

US Supreme Court Holds that Student’s Statement to Teacher can be Admitted at Trial

The U.S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) recently issued a unanimous decision as to whether or not prosecutors could introduce statements at trial when a child is not available for cross examination. The Court’s decision has...more

Right to Marry But Not to Work? Pennsylvania Catholic School Terminates Gay Married Teacher

Last month, Waldron Mercy Academy, a K-8 Catholic school located in Merion, Pennsylvania, fired Margie Winters from her position as Director of Religious Education, a job she had held for 8 years. According to Ms. Winters,...more

Illinois Court Finds Special Property Tax Exemption Unconstitutional

A property tax exemption designed to benefit a single aviation company was recently found unconstitutional by the Illinois Appellate Court. The exemption was only for fixed base operators (FBOs) providing aeronautical...more

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

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