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Wayra, who is cognitively gifted and also has significant impairments in speech and language, needed a school that could meet her unique learning needs.

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Litigation

Amicus Briefs

Amicus Briefs

Note: The following documents are in PDF format and will open in a new window. To view PDF files, download the following free software: Get Adobe® Reader®.

United States Supreme Court

Department of Commerce v. New York (2019)
AFC signed on to an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Department of Commerce v. New York, challenging the proposed question on the 2020 census concerning citizenship status. The brief argues that including a citizenship question on the census will result in an undercount of immigrant communities. This undercount will result in the misallocation of education and community resource funding and harm students and their families.

Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. (2017)
AFC signed on to an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) and Impact Fund in support of the rights of transgender students. The case, brought on behalf of 17-year-old Gavin Grimm, challenges a school board resolution regarding access to sex-segregated restrooms. The brief argues that the policy is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment and violates Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools.

Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District (2016)
AFC submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Endrew F., which presents the important question of what makes an education “appropriate” as guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP drafted the brief on behalf of AFC.

Stacy Fry and Brent Fry, et al. v. Napoleon Community Schools, et al. (2016)
AFC and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) submitted an amicus brief in support of petitioners Stacy and Brent Fry, the parents of a student with cerebral palsy who was prescribed a service dog to aid her with everyday tasks. The brief argues that parents and children should not be required to exhaust the IDEA’s administrative remedies when the relief is available only under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act and not the IDEA.

Horne v. Flores (2009)
AFC and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Horne v. Flores, urging that the requirements in the Equal Education Opportunity Act (EEOA) continue to protect students who do not speak English and are not diminished by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The case, which claimed that inadequate funding for educational programming for English Language Learners (ELLs) in Arizona violated the EEOA, was appealed to the Supreme Court by Arizona legislators and the State Superintendent, who argued that districts cannot violate the EEOA if they meet the benchmarks for school achievement under NCLB. AFC’s brief explains why NCLB does not replace the EEOA’s requirements, detailing a number of examples where schools are not providing for the needs of ELLs but are still meeting NCLB benchmarks. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP assisted AFC and AALDEF in drafting the brief.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

D.S. v. Trumbull Board of Education (2019)
The law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP drafted and filed a brief on AFC's behalf before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The brief argues that publicly-funded independent educational evaluations are critically important for ensuring that low-income parents of students with disabilities can meaningfully participate in the IEP process, and it asks that the Court reverse a district court decision that would constrain the availability of such evaluations.

E.M. v. New York City Department of Education (2013)
AFC filed an amicus letter brief urging the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to affirm that a parent whose child has been denied a free appropriate public education may file an impartial hearing seeking the school district to pay tuition at a private school, even if the parent has not made any payments to the private school.

T.Y. v. New York City Department of Education (2009)
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion suggesting that a school district need not provide to a parent timely notice of an appropriate school placement, or provide an appropriate placement at all, if the child’s individualized education program recommended an appropriate program. The law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP drafted and filed an amicus brief on AFC’s behalf requesting that the Second Circuit reconsider or amend its opinion to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation of its holding that would deny students with disabilities an appropriate education.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

M.S. v. New York City Department of Education (2010)
The law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP drafted and filed a brief on AFC’s behalf before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding the standard of review that a court should use on appeals of impartial hearing orders in special education cases.

New York State Court of Appeals

State of New York v. Marquan W. Mackey-Meggs (2014)
AFC signed on to an amicus brief drafted and filed by the law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP before the New York State Court of Appeals regarding Albany County’s Cyber-bullying Law. The brief argues that criminalizing cyber-bullying will have negative effects – namely, reinforcing and perpetuating the School-to-Prison Pipeline, pushing students out of school and into the criminal justice system. The brief also argues that better alternatives exist for dealing with cyber-bulling, such as school climate reform and restorative practices.