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Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Vacates its Own Decision Holding Students Have a Fundamental Right to A Basic Minimum Education by Alison Morris, Attorney, Cuddy Law Firm

Posted on April 23, 2020

The Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, on April 23, 2020, held there is a fundamental, constitutional right to “a basic minimum education,” further stating: “Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to a basic minimum education, meaning one that can provide them with a foundational level of literacy.” Gary B. v. Whitmer, 120 LRP 13567 (6th Cir., April 23, 2020).

This momentary step forward for education rights, however, has been halted. On May 19, 2020, the same Sixth Circuit Court voted to rehear this matter en banc, meaning before the entire panel of Sixth Circuit judges, not just the three judges who heard and decided the matter initially. Gary B. v. Whitmer, 120 LRP 16043 (6th Cir. May 19, 2020).

Rehearing this case en banc vacates the previous decision – for the time being. This case is now on the Court’s docket again, and it will rehear the matter and issue a new decision.

The Court could reverse its decision, but we hope that the Court continues to strengthen and add to the notion and provide case law that education is a fundamental right, and not take away from that notion.

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