Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lhamon Nominated to Head OCR

President Obama has nominated attorney Catherine Lhamon to head the The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. Lhamon is presently the director of impact litigation at Public Counsel Law Center, a pro bono law firm in Los Angeles. There, her cases have challenged race- and class- based inequities in such contexts of housing, education and workers rights. For example, one of Lhamon's cases successfully challenged the disproportionate impact of statewide teacher layoffs on three low-income Los Angeles schools.

Prior to working at Public Counsel, Lhamon was an attorney for the ACLU of Southern California.  The ACLU is a strong supporter of Title IX, and I found record of at least one Title IX case Lhamon worked on, in which the ACLU and other public interest groups used the statute to challenge a Los Angeles high school's discriminatory practices against gay students and their GSA.  

Lhamon certainly appears to have strong credentials fighting for equality in education.  It will be exciting to see what new energy and ideas she brings to the OCR, pending her confirmation by the Senate.