Logourl black
From our private database of 13,000+ case briefs...

Rendell-Baker v. Kohn

United States Supreme Court
457 U.S. 830 (1982)


Facts

Kohn (defendant) was the director of New Perspectives School, a private non-profit school devoted to educating “at-risk” high school students. Kohn’s school received students on the recommendation of public school districts. When a public school district recommended that a student be sent to the New Perspectives School, that district provided public funding for the student’s education at the new school. Additionally, Kohn’s school received public funding from the government and other sources and was subject to Massachusetts state regulations. Rendell-Baker (plaintiff) was a counselor at the New Perspectives School who was discharged in June 1978 because of a dispute over the role of a student-staff council in making hiring decisions. The five other plaintiffs were teachers at New Perspectives School that all opposed Rendell-Baker’s discharge and wrote letters to the school board demanding Kohn’s resignation. When the board refused to dismiss Kohn, students picketed the president of the board’s house. The five other plaintiffs also wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper expressing their belief that Rendell-Baker was wrongly discharged. Kohn discharged them the next day. Rendell-Baker and the other teachers then brought suit in district court alleging that Kohn violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by discharging them because of their exercise of their First Amendment right of free speech and without due process required by the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court dismissed Rendell-Baker’s action but denied a motion to dismiss the teachers’ action. The court of appeals reversed, holding that no state action was present. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence (White, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 128,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,000 briefs, keyed to 176 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.