Supreme Court Rebukes Judge Neil Gorsuch and Rejects His Low Standard for Providing Education to Children with Disabilities

Media 03.22,17

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court today issued its decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District:

“Today, a unanimous Supreme Court rebuked Judge Gorsuch, deciding that the standard he imposed in Thompson R2-J Sch.Dist. v. Luke P., for children with disabilities to receive assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was too lax. Writing for a unanimous Court, Chief Justice Roberts said that a student educated at the level Gorsuch advocated, ‘can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all.’ In response to questions by Senators Durbin and Klobuchar during his confirmation hearing, Gorsuch claimed he was just following precedent, but there are questions as to whether this precedent was binding or just one he found useful to reach his conclusion, which the Supreme Court rightly rejected.

As we wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, ‘Judge Gorsuch has consistently ruled against students with disabilities seeking educational services to which they were entitled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).’ Today’s decision is further evidence of why the Senate should reject Judge Gorsuch’s nomination for the Supreme Court.”

On Monday, 116 national civil and human rights organizations wrote to the Senate to express their opposition to the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Read their letter here.

Wade Henderson is president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit