Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Supreme Court Decision

The U. S. Supreme Court yesterday in Board of Education of the City of New York v. Tom F. affirmed the decision on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the ruling that a parent of a student with a disability may seek reimbursement for a unilateral placement in a private school even though the student never received special education services from the public schools. The per curiam decision of the court was based upon the Court being equally divided, 4 to 4, with Justice Kennedy having recused himself. A copy of the one page decision may be found at

Per curiam decisions are decisions issued in the name of the Court rather than under the names of specific justices. In the past, per curiams were used for non-controversial and often unanimous matters. They generally can be cited as precedent and are considered good law, but the tie prevents this decision from being precedential. NOTE: The nature of per curiam decisions may have changed. For example, the Bush v Gore decisions were both per curiam decisions.

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