Education Constitutional Law

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Fourth Circuit Holds That Title IX Protection Extends to Transgender Restroom Access

On April 19, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a highly publicized decision, issued a ruling which addresses the rights of transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act...more

Fourth Circuit Rules that Title IX Extends to Transgender Bathroom Access

On April 19, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that is likely to have a significant impact on the rights of transgender students. In G.G. ex rel. Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, No. 15-2056...more

Anti-SLAPP Statute Raised in Planned Parenthood Protest Lawsuit

The DC anti-SLAPP statute has been invoked in a Superior Court lawsuit in which plaintiffs arguing that students need to be free from disruptions in the school environment are facing off against anti-abortion protestors....more

Sixth Circuit Rules that the "Deliberate Indifference" Standard Still Matters in Title IX Harassment Litigation

In Stiles v. Granger County Board of Education, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of a Title IX lawsuit against a public school district because the alleged victim of harassment and bullying...more

Doe v. Brandeis University : Implications for University Disciplinary Systems and Policies

Case Background - Brandeis University initiated disciplinary proceedings against a student, John Doe, who allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with another student, J.C. The two students had been in a romantic...more

From The Jaws Of Defeat, Public Unions Snatch Lucky Victory

For many years, unions representing public employees in a variety of states have continued to require employees to pay union dues even if they have an objection to certain political, lobbying, or other activities the unions...more

Court Denies Class Cert. in NCAA Antitrust Suit

The NCAA scored a victory last week with the denial of class certification in an antitrust suit challenging the association’s former ban on multiyear scholarships (the “One Year Rule”) and its cap on scholarships (the “GIA...more

Split Supreme Court Upholds Union Agency Fees...for Now

On March 29, 2016, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a decision permitting public-sector unions to continue collecting “agency fees” from nonmember workers. This is a major victory for public sector unions, as a...more

Don’t Shoot the Messenger—Student Art Removed, First Amendment Notwithstanding

Last fall we had occasion to address the extent to which public displays of art and attempts at controlling the content of them can run afoul of the First Amendment. In that case, public outrage at artwork submitted by...more

Higher Education Highlights - Spring 2016

Upcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act salary-basis test may convert many of your smartphone-toting exempt employees into non-exempt employees, requiring you to track the evening and weekend time these employees...more

Supreme Court Hands Labor Unions a Reprieve

In the second split decision since the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court gave organized labor a status quo victory in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association on Tuesday. The case was brought by...more

The Supreme Court - March 2016 #5

The Supreme Court of the United States issued one per curiam decision on March 29, 2016: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn., No. 14-915: Petitioner Rebecca Friedrichs and other public school teachers in California...more

The Supreme Court’s Decision on Public Union Fees: Still Valid But No Further Guidance

On March 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam opinion in a case on the validity of public-sector “agency shop” arrangements, which permit unions to charge a fee (in order to pay for select...more

Never Mind! Supreme Court Splits on Public Employee Union Fee Case

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in one of the most anticipated cases of the session on whether public employees could be forced to pay fees to a union that they didn’t want to belong to. And in doing so, the...more

Suit Seeks To Block N.C. “Bathroom Bill”

Of significance to employers, the bill, which was signed into law last Wednesday, eliminates the common-law cause of action for wrongful discharge based on “EEO” discrimination....more

“Mattress Performance” Title IX Lawsuit Against Columbia Is Dismissed

Last May, a former Columbia University student sued the university over the circumstances around Emma Sulkowicz’s widely publicized “Mattress Project,” in which Sulkowicz vowed to carry a mattress around campus so long as the...more

Congressional Hearing Examines Free Speech and Tax Constraints on Campus Political Activity

Campuses across the country are wrestling with how free speech, tolerance, diversity and politics mix in a higher education environment. Recently, the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee examined the...more

Pennsylvania Court Confirms That School Districts May Target High Value Properties When Appealing Tax Assessments For The Purpose...

Valley Forge Towers Apts. N, LP v. Upper Merion Area School District, 124 A.3d 363, 365 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2015). The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court holds that when a school district has reasonable and financial considerations...more

Court Rules That Student-Athletes Are Not Employees Under the FLSA - The U.S. District Court Decision Is Another Win for the NCAA...

In another blow to legal arguments that student-athletes should be paid as employees, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana recently concluded that student-athletes at the University of Pennsylvania...more

Supreme Court Refuses to Provide Clarity on Discipline for Off-Campus, Online Student Speech

The Supreme Court has a lot to worry about these days, like a year plus of finding out first hand what can happen (or not happen) to your ability to make precedent when you have a 4-4 deadlock on the Court. So its recent...more

Kansas Supreme Court Sets Deadline for Addressing School Funding Formula

Kansas Public Schools in Danger of Not Opening for the 2016-2017 School Year - A February 11, 2016, ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court in Gannon v. State of Kansas gave the state until June 30, 2016 to implement an...more

A School District’s Standing Might Not Be As Clear As We Had Thought

In 2012 we reported on a decision affirming the conclusion that school districts lack standing to “question the assessments or the method of arriving at the assessed valuation.” Xerox v. Town of Webster, 131 Misc. 2d 817...more

High Court Reviews Protected Activity Under SLAPP Statute

In yet another installment of the gravamen of the complaint conundrum, the California Supreme Court is currently reviewing Park v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1258. The issue is...more

Can a Massachusetts Religious School Refuse to Employ a Worker in a Same-Sex Marriage?

In Barrett v. Fontbonne Academy, the Massachusetts Superior Court curtailed various statutory and constitutional defenses available to an employer affiliated with a religious institution that faces discrimination claims under...more

Commentary on CCJEF v. Rell: An Important New Chapter in the Saga of School Funding in Connecticut

Earlier this month, trial court proceedings started in the landmark case, Connecticut Coalition on Justice in Education Funding v. Rell. The plaintiffs, several students in various towns and a coalition of towns, filed suit...more

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