Law & Courts Federal File

High Court’s Hot Tickets

By Andrew Trotter — January 09, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The U.S. Supreme Court is showering attention on education in its current term, even while its docket in some other areas seems to have entered a dry spell.

The justices as of Jan. 4 had accepted only 49 cases for full review in the term that began in October and runs till July, compared with 63 at the same point in the preceding term.

Court observers have been discussing the decline in cases in recent weeks, and speculating about possible causes. Among the theories: the justices’ caution about testing the apparent delicate philosophical balance of the court and the rise of conservative judges in the lower federal courts, which has resulted in fewer conflicts of interpretation that need to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

Experts note that the current total of granted cases will make it difficult for the court to equal the average of 80 cases that the justices have heard in recent terms. Twenty years ago, the court regularly heard about 150 cases per term. The justices will continue to add cases to this term’s docket for the next two weeks or so.

Education cases are an exception to the lower numbers, at least this term.

“Though the justices have fallen far short in the total number of cases, there are a few fields—education, the environment, and antitrust law—that will occupy an unexpectedly large proportion of the docket,” Thomas C. Goldstein, a Washington lawyer who specializes in Supreme Court practice, said in an e-mail.

So far at least six cases that the justices have accepted squarely involve public K-12 education, compared with four cases during the court’s entire 2005-06 term. The normal range for K-12 education cases getting full review is two to four cases per term. This term’s lot covers issues such as student speech, the interpretation of federal special education law, and school districts’ consideration of race in student assignments.

This week, on Jan. 10, the justices were scheduled to hear oral arguments in Zuni Public School District No. 89 v. Department of Education (Case No. 1508), which deals with how the federal impact-aid program is carried out in the states, and Washington v. Washington Education Association (No. 05-1657), on whether a teachers’ union must get permission from nonmembers to use their so-called agency fees for political causes.

A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Biden's Title IX Rule Is Now Blocked in 14 States
A judge in Kansas issued the third injunction against the Biden administration's rule granting protections to LGBTQ+ students.
4 min read
Kansas high school students, family members and advocates rally for transgender rights, Jan. 31, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. On Tuesday, July 2, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Kansas and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation.
Kansas high school students, family members and advocates rally for transgender rights, Jan. 31, 2024, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. On Tuesday, July 2, a federal judge in Kansas blocked a federal rule expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students from being enforced in four states, including Kansas, and a patchwork of places elsewhere across the nation.
John Hanna/AP
Law & Courts Student Says Snapchat Enabled Teacher's Abuse. Supreme Court Won't Hear His Case
The high court, over a dissent by two justices, decline to review the scope of Section 230 liability protection for social media platforms.
4 min read
The United States Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 2024.
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 2024. The high court declined on July 2 to take up a case about whether Snapchat could be held partially liable for a teacher's sexual abuse of a student.
Aashish Kiphayet/NurPhoto via AP
Law & Courts What the Supreme Court's Chevron Decision Could Mean for Biden's Title IX Rule
The decision overrules a 40-year-old precedent and could impact lawsuits challenging the final Title IX rule.
5 min read
Visitors pose for photographs at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18, 2024, in Washington.
Visitors pose for photographs at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18, 2024, in Washington. The high court on June 28 overruled a longtime precedent and held that courts, not federal agencies, have the primary authority to interpret ambiguous federal statutes.
Jose Luis Magana/AP
Law & Courts Religious Charter School Is Unconstitutional, Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules
The state high court says the planned Catholic virtual charter school violates a state provision against aid to 'sectarian' institutions.
4 min read
The Oklahoma Supreme Court is pictured in the state Capitol building in Oklahoma City, May 19, 2014. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, June 25, 2024, that the approval of the nation's first state-funded Catholic charter school, St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual Charter School, is unconstitutional.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court is pictured in the state Capitol building in Oklahoma City, May 19, 2014. The high court ruled Tuesday, June 25, 2024, that the approval of the nation's first state-funded Catholic charter school, St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual Charter School, is unconstitutional.
Sue Ogrocki/AP