Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, et al. v. Miriam Flores, et al.
Education Law, Civil Procedure, No Child Left Behind Act
In 2000, a federal district court held that Arizona violated the Equal Educational
Opportunity Act ("EEOA") because it was not adequately funding programs for
teaching English to students. Since then, Arizona has implemented enormous
funding increases and complied with the comprehensive federal requirements for
English-language instruction under the No Child Left Behind Act ("NLCB"). The
district court has nonetheless refused to modify its eight-year-old injunction,
imposing multi-million dollar penalties on the State until the Arizona Legislature
further (and substantially) increases funding. Applying a standard that conflicts with
decisions of this Court and the other courts of appeals, the Ninth Circuit affirmed,
holding that Petitioners were not entitled to relief because (i) the named defendants
support the injunction, and (ii) the injunction's "basic premises" have not been
The questions presented are:
1. Whether a federal-court injunction seeking to compel institutional reform
should be modified in the public interest when the original judgment could not have
been issued on the state of facts and law that now exist, even if the named
defendants support the injunction.
2. Whether compliance with NCLB's extensive requirements for English language
instruction is sufficient to satisfy the EEOA's mandate that States take
"appropriate action" to overcome language barriers impeding students' access to
equal educational opportunities.
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