Education professor releases book on Supreme Court's influence in public schools

Contact: Chris Hybels

Dr. Brett Geier

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—"This unusually aggressive, reactionary court is going backward by overturning generations of modern law and precedent," says Dr. Brett Geier, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology at Western Michigan University, of the United States Supreme Court.

In his new book "The Roberts Court and Public Schools," Geier offers an analysis and evaluation of education-related rulings of the Supreme Court since 2005. He claims under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, the court is making and is forecasted to make decisions that will severely impact public schools.

According to Geier, public schools serve as vibrant microcosms of our diverse society, where students from various backgrounds and perspectives converge. Balancing the protection of individual rights with the maintenance of a conducive learning environment already presents a complex challenge for school administrators. He predicts the task will be further complicated by recent and anticipated changes emanating from the Supreme Court.

"Public schools in the United States provide a laboratory for legal contests because just about every facet of society that is controlled by law can be found in the lives of students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members," says Geier. "The main reason for these modifications and reversals is due to the political ideology of several of the Justices on the Court."

Geier claims that conservative politicians have been maneuvering for several years to appoint these justices to the bench who endorse their political ideologies—ideologies that are often in opposition to long-held precedents. To make these reversals and rulings, it will require justices to ignore the legal concept of stare decisis, which may cause consternation among legal scholars and, ultimately, confusion for school administrators.

"If this conservative cabal of Supreme Court Justices was willing to obfuscate their positions on abortion rights for women during their confirmation hearings, going against settled law, many other issues could be ripe for overturning or deciding future decisions that directly or indirectly impact how public schools are managed," says Geier.

The book analyzes past, present and future rulings on religion, special education, student rights, race, gender discrimination, teachers’ rights and immigration. Geier hopes the book will be informative to readers and bring awareness to the impact the Roberts Court can have for public schools. 

UPCOMING BOOK READING

Geier will be holding a book reading to celebrate the release of his book on Jan. 30, 2024, in Sangren Hall. To learn more about the event or RSVP, visit "The Roberts Court and Public Schools" event page.

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