Sunday, March 19, 2017

Schools Matter: Anti-Child Advocate, Neil Gorsuch (Mr. de minimis)

Schools Matter: Anti-Child Advocate, Neil Gorsuch (Mr. de minimis):

Anti-Child Advocate, Neil Gorsuch (Mr. de minimis)

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If America's special needs schoolchildren are damaged beyond measure in the near future by the judiciary, you can thank the preppy fascist now in line to become the next Supreme Court justice:

At the Supreme Court podium in January, lawyer Neal Katyal was hit with a series of questions that he wasn’t really ready for.

The justices wanted to know who came up with the legal standard “merely more than de minimis” ― a phrase that could undercut the law for students with disabilities across the country. If upheld, the standard would reduce the educational benefits those children are promised under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

“What’s the origin of this phrase, ‘More than de minimis’? Who thought this up?” asked Justice Samuel Alito. The law generally defines “de minimis” as being so small as to be legally insignificant.

“Who invented it?” asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting that it isn’t found in the Supreme Court’s leading precedent on states’ responsibilities under the IDEA.

While Ginsburg was setting up her question, Justice Elena Kagan jumped in to emphasize the word “merely” — as if to underscore that the standard Katyal was defending is indeed a stingy one.

The accomplished appellate attorney, who is representing a Colorado school district in the dispute, didn’t have a good answer, saying only that the standard was developed over time by the lower courts. But he would have nailed the response if he’d simply said, “Neil Gorsuch.”

Judge Gorsuch, who is now President Donald Trump’s eminently qualified Supreme Court nominee, broke new ground when he used “merely more than de minimis” in a 2008 ruling. That decision has become the touchstone for Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, the case the justices heard in January and will likely decide by the end of June.

Gorsuch picked the phrase “out of the blue,” said Jack Robinson, the Colorado lawyer representing the child at the center of the current case. . . .
Schools Matter: Anti-Child Advocate, Neil Gorsuch (Mr. de minimis):


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