Depublish Overreaching Court Decision Banning Home-Schooling

Recently, a California state appeals court declared that there is no constitutional right to home school your child, in a ruling I discuss here and here. That alone was controversial enough. But it then went on to claim that home-schooling is not simply unprotected by the Constitution, but is already illegal under California state law unless a parent is a certified teacher. It had to really stretch the language of state law to make that claim.

That claim effectively outlaws home schooling in California, and criminalizes 166,000 households in the state in which parents home-school their children. It’s not clear to me whether that claim is a definitive, binding holding or mere dictum, but either way, it will have enormous negative ramifications for California families and children (trial courts tend to follow appeals court dicta almost as religiously as they follow their binding holdings).

You can sign a petition online asking the California Supreme Court to depublish the bad court decision here. I recommend doing so. Depublication of a court decision keeps the case from being binding on, or cited by, trial courts in any future case throughout the state of California.

The California Supreme Court is very busy, and turns away more than 95 percent of all cases without hearing them on the merits. But even if it is too busy to hear a case on the merits, or is ambivalent about what which side should ultimately win a case, it will sometimes depublish an opinion that contains overly broad or shoddy reasoning to prevent if from spawning negative consequences.