The full Sixth Circuit has voted to rehear the Detroit right-to-education case. This vacates the panel decision holding that access to literacy was a fundamental constitutional guarantee.
The court’s order comes only 6 days after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a settlement with the student plaintiffs and sought dismissal of the suit on mootness grounds. One group of defendants and another group of would-be intervenors had asked the court to go banc. Other defendants, meanwhile, supported the settlement and opposed their co-defendants’ authority to continue the fight.
(All of which would amount to a veritable fed-courts feast–or famine. Furloughed 3Ls from Michigan to Tennessee can say a prayer of thanksgiving for p/f this semester. Silver linings!)
Notably, the court’s order indicates that a judge *sua sponte* called for the rehearing vote. So those predicate procedural questions regarding intervention, standing, and litigating authority remain unanswered, if diminished in importance, at least for now.