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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

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

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

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

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

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

Religious Institutions Update: March 2015

Several interrelated legal developments make it more important than ever for religious institutions intending to qualify for exemptions to generally applicable laws to do the hard work before litigation or administrative...more

University of Florida Quarterback Is Reinstated After Accuser Withdraws Sexual Assault Complaint

James Ryan, the Partner-in-Charge of the Education Litigation Department of Cullen and Dykman LLP was recently featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, regarding the highly publicized University of Florida (the...more

Managing Social Media-Issues Consistent With The Law

In this age of electronic communication, social media has added another dimension to the array of issues schools must address in order to maintain the integrity of the learning environment while also preserving the rights of...more

The Expanding Ash Heap of History

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The court overturned the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld that...more

Update: District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds the Use of Race in Admissions at the University of Texas

For a second time, the Fifth Circuit dismissed Abigail Fisher’s claim against the University of Texas at Austin (the “University”), holding that the University’s admissions policy, including the use of race as a factor,...more

University of Texas’s Use of Race In Student Admissions Survives Another Legal Hurdle

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decided this week that the University of Texas’s consideration of race as a factor among many factors for college and university admissions is legally permissible in Fisher v....more

Fifth Circuit Issues Important Ruling on Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Earlier this week, in Fisher v. University of Texas, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the undergraduate admissions program at the University of Texas at...more

Religious Institutions Update

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that an existing contraceptive coverage mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act statute that applies to for-profit closely held corporations...more

Supreme Court Deals Affirmative Action Another Blow, But Impact on Colleges and Universities Likely Limited

The U.S. Supreme Court continued its decade-long interest in the role of affirmative action in the higher education admissions process, and decided to uphold a state law banning the practice. In Schuette v. Coalition to...more

Supreme Court Rules Public Universities In Michigan Can't Consider Race In Admission Decisions - In Schuette v. Coalition To...

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, et al. on April 22, 2014, in which plaintiffs challenged a voter-approved amendment to Michigan's constitution prohibiting...more

Recent Federal Guidance On Title IX And Sexual Violence

Over the last several weeks, colleges and universities have been inundated with new Title IX and sexual violence guidance and enforcement decisions to digest. First, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights...more

U.S. Department of Education Reaffirms the Importance of Diversity Efforts Post- Schuette

In April, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action , upholding Michigan’s State Constitutional Amendment prohibiting, among other things, any preferential treatment on the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting Use Of Race-Based Preferences In State University...

Executive Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld an amendment to the Michigan constitution that prohibits the use of race-based preferences as part of the admissions process for all state universities. See Schuette v....more

Oklahoma Government Bodies May Not Consider Race, Sex, Ethnicity Or National Origin In Employment, Contracting, Or School...

In 2003, despite the Constitutional prohibition on racial discrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger permitted the University of Michigan to consider applicants’ race to ensure a diverse student body. In...more

Supreme Court Holds Voters Have a Right to Reject Government-Funded Racial Preferences in Public Higher Education

On April 22, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States held that although consideration of race in admissions is constitutionally permissible, voters have every right to reject it. The case, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend...more

Michigan Affirmative Action Ban Upheld By U.S. Supreme Court

Michigan’s affirmative action ban, a Constitutional amendment enacted through referendum during the 2006 election cycle, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The decision means that public entities, including...more

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