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Don't Let States Escape on Funding, Civil Rights Groups Tell Judges

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As I noted earlier, several of the National Education Association's allies don't like the union's legal position in its suit against Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Michael Rebell, a successful school finance litigator, suggested in his blog that states could use the union's unfunded mandate claims as reasons to cut spending.

Now, a coalition of civil rights groups is trying to make a similar argument to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which is considering the federal government's appeal in Pontiac v. Spellings.

"The panel opinion invites states that are struggling with their budgets to try to escape the conditions to which they agreed when they accepted federal funding by finding statutory language that may be characterized as ambiguous," the coalition wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the federal government's appeal of the lawsuit.

The coalition includes the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

For background on the Pontiac case, see this item.

PROCEDURAL NOTE: Because no members of the coalition are involved in the suit, the groups are asking the court to consider their arguments when it hears the appeal. The court isn't required to do so. Here is the coalition's motion.

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The Coast Guard Report (coastguardreport.org) is looking for current and former employees and associates who have either worked for or with Terri A. Dickerson. Ms. Dickerson is currently serving the Director, Office of Civil Rights, United States Coast Guard. Her previous employment includes the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and U.S. Small Business Administration. Additionally, Coast Guard Report would like to hear from anyone employed or previously employed as a Civil Rights Service Provider (CDCRO's and CDEEO's). You can either leave a comment at the blog or contact us privately at [email protected]

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