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Sua Sponte En Banc Rehearing Granted in Right-to-Education Case

The full Sixth Circuit has voted to rehear the Detroit right-to-education case. This vacates the panel decision holding that access to literacy was a fundamental constitutional guarantee.

The court’s order comes only 6 days after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a settlement with the student plaintiffs and sought dismissal of the suit on mootness grounds.  One group of defendants and another group of would-be intervenors had asked the court to go banc. Other defendants, meanwhile, supported the settlement and opposed their co-defendants’ authority to continue the fight.

(All of which would amount to a veritable fed-courts feast–or famine. Furloughed 3Ls from Michigan to Tennessee can say a prayer of thanksgiving for p/f  this semester. Silver linings!)

Notably, the court’s order indicates that a judge *sua sponte* called for the rehearing vote. So those predicate procedural questions regarding intervention, standing, and litigating authority remain unanswered, if diminished in importance, at least for now.

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Benjamin Beaton Litigation Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm
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Benjamin Beaton is a litigator who handles complex appeals, trial proceedings and regulatory disputes. He has authored more than a dozen briefs at the US Supreme Court, where he previously served as a law clerk, and drafted dozens more in the federal courts of appeal and state supreme courts. In trial proceedings across the country, Ben has tried cases, briefed and argued dispositive motions, defended and examined high-profile witnesses and negotiated settlements. Outside the courtroom, Ben has drawn on his governmental experience to counsel a Fortune 100 CEO appearing before a US Senate...

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