A few weeks ago, we posted about the recent changes made by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to the protocol for investigating civil rights complaint.
Recently, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), National Federation of the Blind (NFB), and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education, Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson, challenging these recent changes to the case-processing manual.
In the lawsuit, filed on May 31, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the NAACP, COPAA, and NFB alleged that the changes to the protocol were made without providing notice and allowing the public an opportunity to comment, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The groups also alleged the changes were arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with the law.
On its blog, the NFB explained: “[O]ur argument boils down to this: OCR is planning to decide what cases it investigates on an arbitrary basis. Obviously, we abhor meritless civil rights complaints, but whether a complaint is actually meritorious should be determined by proper investigation. There is no good reason for OCR to ignore a complaint simply because the complainant has rightfully challenged discrimination before. That approach denies due process to those who bring complaints in good faith and flouts the anti-discrimination laws that OCR is supposed to enforce.”
The lawsuit requests that the judge stop the new rules from going into effect.