Ken Starr, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the School of Law, argued before the United States Supreme Court on Monday, April 20. The case is Horne v. Flores, which involves the expenditure of state funds toward English language education programs.
The case dates back to January 2000, when the United States District Court for the District of Arizona cited the state for civil contempt for failing to adequately fund English Language Learner programs, in violation of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act. The court subsequently rejected proposed legislation as inadequate to resolve the programs' deficiencies. The superintendent and representatives argued that increases in state funding, changes in the management of the school district involved, and passage of the No Child Left Behind Act sufficiently altered the foundations of the district court's original ruling and therefore relief was warranted. The federal district court of Arizona denied the motion.
On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. It reasoned that since Arizona never appealed or complied with the district court's original order that it was fair to require compliance.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on January 9. Dean Starr represents the speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and the president of the Arizona Senate.
Dean Starr is admitted to practice in California, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. While in private practice, he was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In addition to working in the private sector, he has served as counselor to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith, judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, solicitor general of the United States, and independent counsel on the Whitewater matter. As solicitor general, he argued twenty-five cases before the Supreme Court.