Los Angeles, August 11, 2006
California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials (CAPEEM) scored a victory on Friday when United States District Court Judge, Frank C. Damrell, Jr. ruled that CAPEEM’s lawsuit on the textbook adoption process can proceed.
Judge Damrell rejected the defendants’ arguments that CAPEEM lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. The Court ruled that CAPEEM had sufficiently alleged that “[the] parent members of CAPEEM and their children would suffer an injury in fact that is concrete, particularized and imminent.”
In addition to challenging CAPEEM’s standing, the defendants attacked the substance of CAPEEM’s Equal Protection Clause claims.
The Court rejected these arguments, ruling that allegations of “repeated scrutiny of proposed edits; secretive processes in making final decisions; and, hostile academic advisors . . . if true, could establish grounds for relief under an Equal Protection claim.”
Finally, Judge Damrell ruled that the claims of the CDE/SBE members “acting in their official capacities [are] not barred by the Eleventh Amendment”.
Reacting to the judgment Rajesh Goswami, a director of CAPEEM, said, “Judge Damrell’s ruling recognizes the gravity of harm resulting from an unequal process as applied to minority religious and ethnic groups and the harm from educational materials which denigrate those groups. CAPEEM is extremely enthusiastic about the court’s ruling that its lawsuit can proceed.”
Venkat Balasubramani, CAPEEM’s lawyer, likewise expressed satisfaction with the ruling.