Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Supreme Court Struck Down One of Neil Gorsuch's Decisions During His Hearing

Tessa Berenson
Mar. 22, 2017

One of Neil Gorsuch's decisions about an autistic child's education was struck down unanimously by the Supreme Court Wednesday morning during his confirmation hearing.

The 8-0 ruling, which Gorsuch said he learned about on a brief five-minute bathroom break, overturned his 2008 decision in Thompson R2-J School District v. Luke P., which found that a school district legally abides with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as long as it provides an education that “must merely be ‘more than de minimis.’”

The Supreme Court disagreed in their decision handed down Wednesday.

"When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing 'merely more than de minimis' progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the unanimous decision. "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.’”


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