Is Education a Fundamental Right?
please the following article:
Jill Lepore, “Is Education a Fundamental Right?” The New Yorker, Sept. 10, 2018
After reading the article please answer the following questions:
1) What was Doe v. Plyler and how did it come about?
2) Peter Roos, of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund took on the case. What legal precedent did he use to argue his case? What was the State of Texas’ argument? You have to read the entire article to be able to answer this question.
3) The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court as Plyer v. Doe in 1981. Lepore’s article includes a section of the transcript where Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall questioned the plaintiff, Attorney John Hardy. Hardy represented the school board. Who was Marshall and what was his point when questioning the plaintiff.
4) Lepore writes that the Court’s decision was the result of a compromise between Chief Justice Robert Powell and the majority on the Court. Who was Powell and why did he not want to sign the original opinion? (What was the original opinion?)
5) Court-watchers consider Plyler insignificant because of its narrow findings. Lepore cites several law professors who disagree. Who are they and what do they say?
6) Lepore discusses Prop 187 – as did Vargas. You will be responsible for knowing what Prop 187 is for the final exam. For the exam you will need to be able to discuss Prop 187 from our readings (Vargas and this article) – and not Wikipedia. So better to do the reading now so that you can participate in the discussion during class and at the same time, be better prepared for the exam.
7) James Plyler was interviewed in 2007, when he was 82 years old and long-retired. What did he say about losing the case with his name on it?
8) What can we take away from this article about a democratic country’s responsibilities toward its own citizens – as well as citizens of the world? To what extent might the country have responsibilities toward people who come into this country from Mexico and points south? How might we – as a country as a whole – benefit from making public education available to everyone who lives within our borders (whether or not such people pay taxes)?