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Raymond A. Foss Poems
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Costs not Expenses by Raymond A. Foss
A fine line in the sand
of import
to find balance of equities
costs yes, expenses no
parsing subtleties of word and meaning
A claim to need
“unambiguous” language
with clear notice
when the words are there, already
just under the surface,
the letter of the law
breathed with life
by the words they wrote
that weren’t given weight
by the new court, new believers
seeing a piece of stare decisis
where feeling for the burden
of the defenders of the rights
the purpose of the law
is lost in parsed words

June 28, 2006 19:36
Arlington Central School Dist. Bd. of Ed. v. Murphy,
548 U.S. ___ (June 26, 2006)

I fear Justice Breyer has it dead right, in the conclusion of his dissent –
"Nothing in the Constitution forbids us from giving significant weight to legislative history. By disregarding a clear statement in a legislative report adopted without opposition in both Houses of Congress, the majority has reached a result no Member of Congress expected or overtly desired. It has adopted an interpretation that undercuts, rather than furthers, the statute's purpose, a "free" and "appropriate" public education for "all" children with disabilities. See Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Adams, 532 U. S. 105, 133 (2001) (Stevens, J., joined by Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., dissenting) ("A method of statutory interpretation that is deliberately uninformed, and hence unconstrained, may produce a result that is consistent with a court's own views of how things should be, but it may also defeat the very purpose for which a provision was enacted"). And it has adopted an approach that, I fear, divorces law from life. See Duncan, supra, at 193 (Breyer, J., joined by Ginsburg, J., dissenting)."

This decision bars the recovery of fees for experts in IDEA cases. It will have huge effects on advocates, educational consultants, evaluators, and other individuals who assist parents during special education due process hearings.
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