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Education Constitutional Law

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Education issues written by leading professionals.

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – October, 2017 #3

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Dear Legal Mailbag: I tried to get a police dog into my school on the morning of an overnight, out-of-state field trip so that the dog could sniff student luggage before putting the bags on the buses. I felt the need to do...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - October, 2017 #2

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Dear Legal Mailbag: I hope that you can help me out of a jam. Last week, during an otherwise uneventful day, a crowd gathered at the middle school where I am principal. Originally published in the CAS Weekly Newsletter...more

U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights’ jurisdiction in Title IX cases

The Issue - The Office of Civil Rights’ (OCR) jurisdiction is broad. If an institution receives federal funds, to include student financial aid and grants, it is subject to Title IX and OCR’s authority. The most public, and...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – October, 2017

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Dear Legal Mailbag: It is bad enough that I can’t watch my beloved NFL games without being confronted with political protests. Now, as the assistant principal in a high school, I am getting panicky emails from teachers and...more

Pennsylvania School Funding Question Given Another Chance

by Barley Snyder on

The tricky issue of how the state funds its public schools has new life after a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision late last week. In the latest chapter in the battle over the system of public school funding in...more

The Department of Education Issues New Guidance For Title IX Proceedings

On September 22, 2017, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (the OCR) issued a new Dear Colleague Letter officially withdrawing the April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Violence and the April 29,...more

Lawsuit Claiming Gender Bias in Title IX Investigation Allowed to Go Forward

• A federal court in Ohio has held that published writings of a university Title IX administrator provide sufficient evidence of bias to permit a civil suit by a penalized student to go forward. • Denial of equitable...more

U.S. Department of Education Announces Intention to Review and Replace Title IX Regulations Concerning Sexual Harassment and...

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

On Thursday, September 7, in a speech by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos, the Department announced that it would undertake a review of its current Title IX enforcement guidance concerning campus-based...more

High School Football Coach Does Not Have The Right To Pray On The 50 Yard Line After The Game – Lessons From The Ninth Circuit...

Does a school district violate the First Amendment when it prohibits a football coach from kneeling on the fifty yard line and praying with students and members of the public at the end of each high school football game? The...more

Doggone: False Statements and Free Speech in Clemmons v. Guilford Technical Community College

Sometimes, the motivation for chronicling a court decision is not because it is particularly groundbreaking; rather, it can simply be a confluence of peculiar facts and a reiteration of relevant legal principles. That is...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania Ignores Key Constitutional Questions in Navient Case

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

As we’ve discussed before, the CFPB sued Navient over its student loan servicing practices in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In doing so, the CFPB followed its strategy of announcing new legal standards by enforcement...more

Affirmative Action Bombshell: FAQs About The Justice Department’s New College Admissions Project

by Fisher Phillips on

Higher education institutions felt seismic shockwaves yesterday as the New York Times reported that the Trump administration would soon redirect Justice Department resources toward investigating – and possibly suing –...more

Third Time’s the Charm – or Not

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit maintained its prior decision, holding that defendants violated the First Amendment when refusing to approve use of university trademarks on t-shirts incorporating a marijuana...more

Use Caution when Monitoring Comments on Your School’s Social Media Page

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

Public schools should be cautious as to how they moderate access to and comments on their social media profiles. In Packingham v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court recently recognized that the Internet, and particularly...more

The Crisis of Free Speech on Campus: Not Fake News

by Jackson Walker on

A recent column in the Detroit News, by John Patrick Leary, an assistant professor of English at Wayne State University, advanced the proposition that concern over the recent protests on campus over free speech is a...more

Advertising Law - July 2017 #3

Twitter Working to Limit Fake Stories, Accounts - In an effort to combat fake accounts, false stories and other abuses, Twitter is considering the use of a new feature to let users flag Tweets that contain misleading,...more

Are State-Owned Patents Immune From IPRs Under The Eleventh Amendment?

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

In separate non-precedential decisions issued by three different panels, the PTAB has permitted state university patent owners to invoke the Eleventh Amendment in Inter Partes Review proceedings. Each panel found that IPR...more

Pennsylvania Court Provides Commercial Property Owners With Defense to Tax Assessment Appeals

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

On July 5, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision confirming that all real estate in a taxing district is a single class (i.e., not subject to sub-classifications based on property type, such as...more

Digital Disruptions: Handling Social Media Misuse By Students And Educators

by Fisher Phillips on

Beginning with the launch of Myspace and Facebook in the early part of the last decade, social media communication has taken the world by storm. Today, social media networking is the primary means of communicating about one’s...more

Selective property tax appeals based on property type or residency status of the owner violates the Pennsylvania Constitution’s...

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently reversed the Commonwealth Court and held that the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution does not permit school districts to selectively appeal only the assessments of...more

Rebel Without A Stall: Title IX, Transgender Student Rights and Whitaker v. Kenosha

When the Trump Administration short-circuited the United States Supreme Court’s review of Gloucester v. G.G., in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit had held that Title IX’s protections extend to...more

Supreme Court: Public Benefit Programs Cannot Exclude Churches Solely Because They Are Religious

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, No. 15-577 (June 26, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that excluding a church from a public benefit program for which it is otherwise qualified violates the Free...more

Tax-Exempt Financing of Churches, Parochial Schools and Other Sectarian Institutions After Trinity Lutheran Church: Permitted? ...

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 opinion in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, precluding states from discriminating against churches in at least some state financing programs, raises anew the question of...more

Social Media and Student Discipline – Where Are We?

The United States Supreme Court stated nearly 50 years ago that public school students do not shed their rights to free speech at the schoolhouse gate. In Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., the Court struck down...more

Fifth Circuit Revives Outspoken Professor’s Retaliation Case: Anti-Tenure Speech is a Matter of Public Concern

Plaintiff James Wetherbe, a professor in Texas Tech University’s business school, is not your typical professor. While universities are no stranger to lawsuits from unhappy professors passed over for tenure, few see lawsuits...more

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