Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch Denies Education for Some Disabled Children.
Gorsuch Then Misrepresents Why at a Senate Hearing
By John C. Fager
Neil Gorsuch, a George W. Bush appointee to the Tenth Circuit federal appeals court and now President Trump’s first appointee to the United States Supreme Court, in 2008 wrote a decision, Luke P. v. Thompson School District, that dictated a very weak standard for the rights of students with disabilities.
And last year another Tenth Circuit case, Endrew F v. Douglas County School District, not one of Gorsuch’s but with the same weak standard he used in Luke P., reached the Supreme Court.
But this time something joyful – yes joyful – happened at our Supreme Court. The very conservative Chief Justice John Roberts lead the court to an 8-0 decision overruling the low standard used by the lower court judge in the Endrew F. case. And, of course, what Chief Justice Roberts wrote about Endrew F. applies to Gorsuch because he used the same weak standard in his Luke P. decision.
On page 14 of Roberts’ Endrew F. opinion (March 22) he wrote about what rights students with disabilities have today given the standard used by the lower Tenth Circuit Court. He wrote, “When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing ‘merely more than de minimis’(underlining added by writer) progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all. For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to ‘sitting idly…awaiting the time when they were old enough to ‘drop out.’”
“Hardly… offered an education at all” and “awaiting the time when they were old enough to drop” out is a shocking condemnation of the standard used in Endrew F. and Luke P. In other words the very weak standard that Gorsuch Badass Teachers Association: