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7th Circuit takes girls' basketball schedule case

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether several Indiana school corporations discriminate against girls’ basketball teams by scheduling more of their games on weeknights as compared to the boys’ basketball games.

Amber Parker, former girls’ basketball coach at Franklin County High School, and Tammy Hurley, a parent of a girls’ basketball player, filed separate suits against the Indiana High School Athletic Association and 14 school corporations in western and southwestern Indiana claiming the organizations violated Title IX and the 14th Amendment pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 by scheduling the girls’ games on non-preferred dates and times. Parker and Hurley are suing on behalf of their daughters.

In Parker’s suit, the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana dismissed the Title IX claim against the IHSAA, and granted the school districts' partial motion for summary judgment on the Section 1983 claims in September 2010. In October, U.S. District Judge William Lawrence granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the remaining claims – the Title IX claim against the school districts and the Section 1983 claim against the IHSAA.

The two cases were combined on appeal into Amber Parker, et al., v. Indiana High School Athletic Association, No. 10-3595. On Feb. 28, the 7th Circuit dismissed the IHSAA from the suit following a motion by the appellants to voluntarily dismiss the organization.  

The parents argue, among other things, that the District Court erred in ignoring the harms that the girls suffer from being regulated to weeknight games, that the scheduling of the girls’ games violates Title IX, and the defendants are political subdivisions, not arms of the state that are entitled to 11th Amendment immunity.

Several organizations have signed on as amicus parties to the case, including the Women’s Sports Foundation, California Women’s Law Center, and the Indiana chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.   

The appellants filed their brief in late January and the school corporations were granted an extension to file their brief, which is now due March 25. Appellants’ reply brief, if any, is due April 8.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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