"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, March 19, 2017

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

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. . . .


  1. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Merely more than de minimis - I love it. I have encountered numerous individuals from other countries who have lauded the educational and employment opportunities offered to people with special needs. In the last decades, children have flourished due to the professional support of special education teachers. I am growing increasingly ashamed of being an American.

    Abigail Shure

  2. the elite class want the afflicted, old, ill, to die or revert back to the 16th Century in terms of care. This is the ultimate outcome of a neoliberal take over which began in earnest at the end of WWII. The only solution to change this cycle of feudalism is a en masse event which would reverse the trends of huge military spending, corporate ownership of our gov't, and eliminating capitalism. Look who the rentier class have allowed to intentionally destroy education, and all other parts of the commons; the liberty, health, and welfare of a people who are increasingly feeling a prisoner, or at least doomed to diminished opportunities, and breathing itself.