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