A Call for Amicus Briefs as a Means to Influence Special Education Policy

Lessons Learned From Endrew F.

Maria M. Lewis, Laura E. Bray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Given the legal nature of special education, a particularly promising avenue for infusing research into practice is through court cases. Recent work has illuminated the influence of amicus briefs in court decisions. An amicus brief is a nonparty brief submitted by a person, group of people, or organization that provides insight and expertise on issues presented in a case. In this exploratory study, we examined how interest groups, through the amicus brief process, used research in a recent Supreme Court case, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. The case focused on a fundamental principle at the heart of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the definition of a free appropriate public education, an issue in which researchers, practitioners, and policymakers alike should be interested. Our findings indicate that researchers and research played a limited role in the briefing process. We conclude with a discussion of potential reasons for the lack of research in the briefing process, as well as a call for the field to use amicus briefs as a means to influence special education policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Special Education
special education
Research
Research Personnel
Education
Public Opinion
Jurisprudence
public education
court decision
interest group
Supreme Court
expertise
disability
act
Organizations
district
organization
human being
lack
school

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Law

Cite this

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