SCOTUS Rules In Favor Of Students With Disabilities

The Supreme Court on Wednesday bolstered the rights of millions of learning-disabled students, requiring public schools to offer special education programs that meet higher standards.

Their attorney argued it's not enough for school districts to get by with "minimal instruction" for special needs children.

"De minimis" means "so minor as to merit disregard" in Latin, so in layman's terms, Gorsuch's decision essentially concluded that schools needed to merely provide a little more than nothing to meet the appropriate educational standard for students with disabilities. Supporters of the ruling say it's "Epic".

In eight out of 10 cases Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is now going through the confirmation process to fill the ninth seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, has handled involving students with disabilities, he has ruled in favor of the districts and not the students, and according to NPR, he was asked about that on Wednesday by Texas Sen. Gorsuch has ruled on a range of special education cases throughout his career, attracting scrutiny from NY lawyer Gary S. Mayerson, who wrote in a letter to Sen.

We'll see if Gorsuch can continue to distinguish his way around this decision and return to the process of dodging tough questions and boring and frustrating the Judiciary Committee. On Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin of IL asked Gorsuch about a letter from one of his former students, alleging that Gorsuch once suggested that many professional women manipulate their companies for maternity leave benefits.

Republicans defended Gorsuch against Democratic attacks and by the end of the third day of the hearings, seemed confident Senate would confirm the nominee.

At the same time, yesterday's ruling did not give Endrew F. and his family everything they had asked for. IDEA requires that these students have their "unique needs" met through a "specially designed" individualized education program. Indeed, Roberts added, Gorsuch's approach would effectively strip many disabled students of their right to an education.

Gorsuch wrote the opinion for a unanimous 2008 decision in which he rejected the claim that the Colorado school district was not doing enough to educate the autistic student.

"If anyone is suggesting that I like a result where an autistic child has to lose, that's a heartbreaking accusation to me", Gorsuch said. "It's going to shift a fair amount of leverage to parents, that they now have some sort of substantive rights under the IDEA, which in most of the circuits they really didn't have before".

Several liberal groups described the court's decision as a direct rebuke of Gorsuch. Basically, since Luke was making some progress in his public school, the district hadn't broken IDEA, Gorsuch wrote - even though the boy made much more progress in the private option.

The case involved a boy who attended kindergarten through fourth grades in the Douglas County (Colo.) district.

As Judge Neil Gorsuch continued to testify at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing Wednesday, his potential soon-to-be colleagues were busy reversing an interpretation of a federal anti-discrimination statute that he played a role in crafting.

Gorsuch said judges decide based on where the law takes them "fearlessly".

When questioned on his record, in light of this new ruling, during his hearing today by Texas Sen.

  • Larry Hoffman