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Unanimous SCOTUS ruling allows deaf student's ADA lawsuit to proceed
Also: Lawyers for the trans student runner oppose West Virginia's high court shadow docket request. And: Missouri's AG moves against trans kids, and Biden nullifies DC's crime code revisions.
DISABILITY RIGHTS DECISION: On Tuesday, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court allowed a deaf student’s Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit to proceed in lower courts.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had, on a 2-1 vote, affirmed a district court’s dismissal of the case because the student failed to exhaust his claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The Supreme Court reversed the appeals court decision, holding that the student, Miguel Luna Perez, was not barred from bringing his ADA lawsuit because of his decision to settle his IDEA claim. He could proceed, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the unanimous court, because he was seeking a remedy — compensatory damages — that is not available under the IDEA.
The decision against Sturgis Public Schools does not end the case. As Gorsuch noted in the decision, there remain other questions unanswered that will need to be resolved by the lower courts now that Perez’s lawsuit has been reinstated.
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West Virginia transgender case update:
Also at the Supreme Court, lawyers for Becky Pepper-Jackson — the 12-year-old transgender girl who wants to continue running cross country at her school — filed their opposition to West Virginia’s emergency request to stop her from being a part of the girls’ team at her school.
Law Dork covered West Virginia’s filing last week, in which it is seeking to enforce its ban on trans girls in sports against Becky. (Technically, by seeking a stay from the Supreme Court of an injunction pending appeal issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.)
The lawyers opposing the shadow docket request — from the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the Cooley firm — highlight how unnecessary and inappropriate emergency relief would be in this case. “There is certainly no reason for this Court to step in now and issue a stay, where Applicants have made no showing that the case is worthy of certiorari at this point, if ever,” the lawyers wrote.
They also argue that the state would face no injury if it gets no relief at this time, whereas Becky — referred to as B.P.J. in court filings because she is a minor — would face “profound” injury if the court were to grant West Virginia emergency relief.
Here is the Supreme Court docket in West Virginia, et al. v. B.P.J., by her next friend and mother, Heather Jackson (Docket No. 22A800).
Acting before the legislature could even do so, recently appointed Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced on Monday that he was issuing an “emergency regulation” that would severely limit the availability of gender-affirming medical care for minors.
Bailey justified this by claiming, without evidence, that “gender transition interventions are experimental” and thus “covered by existing Missouri law governing unfair, deceptive, and unconscionable business practices, including in administering healthcare services.”
The news release laid out many restrictions, which taken in combination would nearly ban such care.
[Update, 5:15 p.m. ET: The Missouri Secretary of State’s office said that the emergency regulation has not yet been submitted as of Tuesday afternoon.
Bailey’s spokesperson confirmed to Law Dork that the regulation “has not been promulgated yet.”
If and when the emergency rule is actually submitted, it will be found here initially, according to the Secretary of State’s office.]
I am waiting for the actual language of the regulation to provide more analysis of this regulation, but I did want to highlight Bailey’s move due to the quickly shifting landscape.
It is [not] law:
On Monday, President Joe Biden diminished D.C. residents’ voting rights by nullifying a legislative act of the D.C. government — and giving more power to fear-mongering on crime (and to House Republicans) in the process.
I’ve written about Biden’s move against D.C.’s much-needed criminal code revisions before, as well as the importance of those senators who — even with the knowledge of Biden’s plans to sign the bill — still voted against nullification.
I didn’t want to let his signing of the bill pass by, though, without note.
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