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No School Cases Among Today's Supreme Court Grants

The U.S. Supreme Court today added 10 more cases to the docket for its 2009-10 term, but no education cases were among them.

The court met in private on Tuesday to discuss appeals that had piled up over the summer. Among the cases up for potential grant from that list were ones involving the Pledge of Allegiance and Confederate flag T-shirts in schools. (See my blog post about pending hot-button education cases here.)

Today's orders list basically dealt with the handful of grants from the big summer conference list. No appeals were denied today, although come Monday most of the hundreds of cases from the summer list probably will meet that fate.

A couple of cases granted today bear a quick mention here.

One is Lewis v. Chicago (Case No. 08-974), which involves a statute-of-limitations question under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A group of African-American firefighters filed a lawsuit challenging an employment test as having a disparate impact on minority applicants. But the city used the results of the test for different rounds of hiring over several years. A federal appeals court said the minority applicant's suit was time-barred because it was filed more than 300 days after the city first announced the test results. The new case is almost Ledbetter v. Goodyear meets Ricci v. DeStefano.

The other is McDonald v. Chicago (No. 08-1521), an important case about whether the Supreme Court's broad interpretation of an individual's right to possess guns under the Second Amendment will apply in the same way against state and local gun restrictions. The court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, involving restrictions in the nation's capital, did not raise some of the same issues about "incorporating" the Second Amendment toward the states.

The relevance for schools is that in the Heller case, the Chicago public schools had filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the high court to uphold restrictions on guns to help stem the tide of urban violence. (See my blog post here.) I'm sure there will be similar briefs in the new case.

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