Amicus Briefs

Espinoza v. Montana Dept of Revenue, No. 18-1195 (U.S. Merits)
Nov. 15, 2019
Privatization & School Choice: 1) States' policy decisions not to fund religious instruction as part of their historic commitment to public education are constitutional; and 2) Programs like Montana's invalidated tax credit scheme harm public education.

Carson v. Makin, No. 19-1746 (United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit)
Nov. 6, 2019
Privatization and choice: (1) Eulitt held that Maine’s program offering a secular public education does not infringe the free exercise clause based on the “play in the joints” between the religion clauses recognized in Locke v. Davey. Trinity Lutheran has left that framework in place; (2) Maine’s method of supporting a public secular education by restricting funding for religious instruction is based on valid entanglement concerns and is well within the “play in the joints” left undisturbed by Trinity Lutheran; and (3) If the court requires Maine to fund the pervasively religious education sought by plaintiffs under Maine’s unique program for supporting public education, it will undermine support of public education throughout this circuit.

Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court and Writs of Certiorari)

Oct. 4, 2019
This dispute concerns the policy of immigration enforcement discretion known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  The questions presented are: (1) Whether DHS’s decision to wind down the DACA policy is judicially reviewable, and (2) Whether DHS’s decision to wind down the DACA policy is lawful.

D.S. v. Trumbull Board of Education, No. 19-644 (United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit) 
Sept. 30, 2019
Did the District Court properly determine that a parent’s right to a publicly-funded independent educational evaluation (IEE) hinges on a connection between the IEE requested by the parent and an existing evaluation obtained by the school district with which the parent disagrees?

Comcast Corporation v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, and Entertainment Studios Networks (Supreme Court - Merits Brief)
Aug. 15, 2019
Whether (1) the but-for causation is the default rule for for Section 1981 (2) a mixed-motive standard for Section 1981 would disrupt employment discrimination law (3) a mixed-motive standard would impact legitimate employment actions and contract decisions, disrupt workplaces, and impose unwarranted costs and (4) this case underscores the problems with a mixed-motive standard for Section 1981 claims.

M.S. and S.S. v. Hillsborough Twp. Public School District (United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit)
July 31, 2019
Whether parents of a special education student are entitled to an IEE at public expense under IDEA only after the school district has conducted an evaluation with which the parents disagree.

B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District (United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit)
July 3, 2019
Whether school officials’ decision to ban a student who engaged in off-campus, online lewd, obscene, disrespectful speech targeting school community from participating in extracurricular activity violated the student’s First Amendment free speech rights.

Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Altitude Express v. Zarda
July 3, 2019
Whether discrimination against an employee because of sexual orientation constitutes prohibited employment discrimination “because of * * * sex” within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e-2 and whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping.

N. M. v. Harrison School District (United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit)
May 16, 2019
Whether the Tenth Circuit should apply Endrew F. consistently with other circuits and the Supreme Court's clear intent to assess FAPE based on the child's individual circumstances. 

U.S. Department of Commerce v. State of New York, No. 18-966 (U.S. Supreme Court – Merits Brief)
March 28, 2019
Whether the Secretary of Commerce’s decision to add a citizenship question to the Decennial Census violated the Enumeration Clause of the United States Constitution.

Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis (U.S. Supreme Court)
March 4, 2019
Whether Title VII’s administrative exhaustion is a jurisdictional prerequisite to suite, as three Circuits have held, or a waivable claim-processing rule, as eight Circuits have held.

C.D. v. Natick Public School District (United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit)
February 27, 2019
Whether (1) Endrew F. expanded IDEA’s Least Restrictive Environment preference or changed the process for IEP teams to determine placement and (2) the IEP transition planning requirement is a flexible and individualized process assessed by courts as part of a multi-faceted IEP, which is evaluated in its entirety. 

Town of Millburn v. Palardy, No. 18-830 (U.S. Supreme Court – Petition Brief)
February 4, 2019
Whether the Third Circuit’s two-step framework for evaluating First Amendment retaliation claims by public employees apply to a claim alleging retaliation based on an employee’s association with a public sector union, and if so, how.

Kisor v. Wilkie (U.S. Supreme Court – Merits Brief)
January 31, 2019
Whether Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997) should be overruled.

Vidal v. Nielsen (United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit)

April 11, 2018
Whether the district court’s preliminary injunction barring the United States government from terminating the DACA program should be upheld.

Regents of University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit)
March 20, 2018
Whether a preliminary injunction barring the federal government from eliminating the DACA program is in the public interest because DACA promotes equity and diversity in public schools,

South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. (U.S. Supreme Court – Merits Brief)

Whether the U.S. Supreme Court should abrogate the Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992), sales-tax-only, physical-presence requirement.

Guides

Data Security for Schools
September 2019
Local school districts are no less susceptible to data breaches than high-profile companies or institutions. Data Security for Schools, updated in 2019, discusses the importance of data security in school districts and its intersection with data privacy and data governance and describes legal requirements and best practices for school districts in the event of a data security breach.

Drugs, Substance Abuse and Public Schools
January 30, 2019
A collaboration between NSBA and the National Association of School Nurses, The Drugs, Substance Abuse and Public Schools Guide helps school board members identify appropriate responses to the presence and use of both authorized medications and illicit drugs in schools.

Fostering Safer Schools
August 17, 2018
The Fostering Safer Schools Guide assists school board members in finding the best practices for their districts, covering policies and programs that promote safe learning environments and ideas on how to collaborate with local law enforcement officials. This guide also provides districts with direction on school safety planning and how to understand liability risks and insurance options.

Navigating Student Walkouts & Mass Protests
February 27, 2018
An appendix to NSBA’s Coercion, Conscience, and the First Amendment Guide, this brief outlines potential responses school board members may adopt to meet the challenges arising from student mass protests and to engage students, parents and other stakeholders.

Coercion, Conscience, and the First Amendment
January 31, 2018
The first amendment guide offers a legal framework for school board members to understand student and employee speech and how that framework might be applied in complicated, real-life situations.

Transgender Students in Schools
October 12, 2017
Originally released in 2016 and updated in 2017, the Transgender Students in Schools Guide answers frequently asked questions for public school boards and staff surrounding student gender identity issues, offering a balanced, objective resource that supports the mission of public schools to educate our nation’s children in safe and inclusive learning environments.

Lifting the Lamp Beside the Schoolhouse Door
October 3, 2017
A guide to serving undocumented students in public schools, Lifting the Lamp Beside the Schoolhouse Door helps school leaders understand and navigate the operational difficulties districts around serving undocumented students, explaining current law on relevant immigrations issues and how school policies may be affected.

Data in the Cloud
April 2014
Cloud-based technology allows for convenient access to learning platforms, compliance with testing requirements and less staff time maintaining on-site servers. But along with these benefits come serious challenges, particularly the potential for loss of student privacy. This legal policy guide is designed to help school leaders identify crucial issues associated with student privacy and recommends a comprehensive approach to addressing student data privacy protection.