Education Law

Affirmative Action for Men? Strange Silences and Strange Bedfellows in the Public Debate over Discrimination Against Women in College Admissions

Engage Volume 12, Issue 3, November 2011
Gail Heriot, Alison Somin December 05, 2011

Affirmative Action for Men? Strange Silences and Strange Bedfellows in the Public Debate over Discrimination Against Women in College AdmissionsWhile some news reports indicate that discrimination against women on the basis of sex in college admissions is increasingly common, there has been relatively little public discussion about it—especially compared to the much more heated public debate concerning race-based affirmative action. Not surprisingly, therefore, there have been few attempts to study the extent of the problem systematically. One such attempt with which we are both familiar—a study by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights of sex discrimination at nineteen colleges and universities in the mid-Atlantic states—was unfortunately abandoned for what appear to be political rather than substantive reasons. Although the fate of the Commission’s probe may in part be explained by the Commission’s institutional quirks, the muddled politics surrounding the attempted probe may reflect in microcosm the muddled politics of the broader national debate. In this article, we discuss those politics and suggest that the lack of attention the issue has received to date may be unfair. [Read more!]

Are Vouchers and Charter Schools Viable Alternatives to Public Schools? - Event Audio

2013 Annual Western Conference
Julian R. Betts, Clint Bolick, Bruce Fuller, William R. Maurer, Carlos T. Bea, Gloria Romero, Leonard A. Leo February 13, 2013

Are Vouchers and Charter Schools Viable Alternatives to Public Schools?Parental and community support for school choice has increased dramatically in recent years, with vouchers, charter schools, home schooling, and other educational alternatives all garnering greater support. Supporters cite gains in reading levels and higher graduation rates amongst reasons why school choice improves education outcomes for low-income, inner-city students. They also cite the importance of offering the same choice in education that higher income families are able to provide. What impediments stand in the way of implementing school choice? How large of a factor is union opposition to school choice? Are unions correct in asserting that vouchers take resources away from the public school system and are financially unaccountable? What about charters? Recently, the California Supreme Court decision upheld the rights of charter schools not to be controlled by the union’s collective bargaining agreements. Will this lead to an increased number of charter schools? How does the national school choice movement encourage reform in California? What trends or alternatives may arise in the future? A panel of experts will discuss these questions and will offer their assessment of school choice programs a decade after Zelman v. Simmons-Harris opened the door for school choice programs.

Panel One: Are Vouchers and Charter Schools Viable Alternatives to Public Schools?
10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

  • Prof. Julian Betts, Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego
  • Mr. Clint Bolick, Vice President for Litigation, The Goldwater Institute
  • Prof. Bruce Fuller, Professor, Education and Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
  • Mr. William R. Maurer, Executive Director, Institute for Justice Washington Chapter (IJ-WA)
  • Ms. Gloria Romero, Democrats for Education Reform and former Democratic Majority Leader, California State Senate (2001-08)
  • Moderator: Hon. Carlos Bea, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Simi Valley, CA

Bar Watch Bulletin for August 8, 2011

ABA Medal, New ABA President, House of Delegates Action
August 12, 2011

This edition of Bar Watch Bulletin reports on the ABA Meetings in Toronto on Monday, August 8. It covers Ted Olson and David Boies receiving the ABA Medal, remarks from outgoing ABA President Stephen Zack, Bill Robinson assuming the ABA presidency, and actions from the House of Delegates on that day of the meetings. [Read now]

Bullying as a Civil Rights Violation: The U.S. Department of Education's Approach to Harassment

Engage, Volume 12, Issue 2, September 2011
Kenneth L. Marcus August 10, 2011

Bullying as a Civil Rights Violation: The U.S. Department of Education's Approach to HarassmentThe Obama Administration recently mounted a high-profile campaign against bullying in public schools, staging a White House conference on bullying prevention, featuring the President and first lady; creating a White House anti-bullying website,; and issuing new regulatory guidance ostensibly to combat this problem. The administrative core of the campaign has been a new federal bullying policy issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on October 26, 2010. This policy, conveyed in a ten-page “Dear Colleague” guidance letter signed by Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali, has been controversial: supporters have welcomed new protections for minority victims of this social problem, while critics have argued that the Obama Administration has effectively created a new right unauthorized by Congress.

Christian Legal Society v. Martínez - Event Audio/Video

Religious Liberties Practice Group
Luke Goodrich, Barry W. Lynn, Roger Pilon, Paul M. Smith, William L. Saunders, Dean A. Reuter April 14, 2010
Christian Legal Society v. MartínezThe Federalist Society's Religious Liberties Practice Group, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and the Cato Institute present a panel discussion on Christian Legal Society v. Martínez. In 2004, the Christian Legal Society filed suit against the University of California Hastings College of the Law after being denied recognition and the benefits of recognition, including student activity fee funding, because the chapter requires its officers and voting members to adhere to the CLS Statement of Faith.  In its lawsuit, CLS alleges that UC Hastings' exclusion of its chapter violates, among other constitutional rights, CLS' right of expressive association and CLS' right to be free from viewpoint discrimination.  The district court ruled in favor of defendants, and a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, in March 2009, affirmed the district court's opinion.  On December 7, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court granted CLS's petition for certiorari, and oral arguments in Christian Legal Society v. Martínez are scheduled for April 19, 2010.  Audio and video from this event are now available.