While Neil Gorsuch was giving pious and "folksy" testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee about how much he loves the law, the United States Supreme Court was busy overturning his ruling on providing students with disabilities with an education.
Judge Gorsuch ruled that IDEA called for no more than the bare minimum to be provided to disabled students -- de minimus benefits.
The Supreme Court disagreed.
All eight justices rejected Gorsuch’s approach. IDEA, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “is markedly more demanding than the ‘merely more than de minimis’ test applied by the Tenth Circuit.” Indeed, Roberts added, Gorsuch’s approach would effectively strip many disabled students of their right to an education. Roberts went on:
When all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing “merely more than de minimis” progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all. For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to “sitting idly . . . awaiting the time when they were old enough to ‘drop out.’”
To the contrary, the unanimous Supreme Court concluded, in most cases a student’s progress should be measured according to whether they are able to keep up with their non-disabled peers.
As I write this, Judge Gorsuch is trying to justify his ruling, first by pointing out that a "Democrat colleague" agreed with him.