Schaffer v. Weast
546 U.S. ___ (2005)

Annotate this Case

546 U. S. ____ (2005)
546 U. S. ____ (2005)
546 U. S. ____ (2005)
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
NO. 04-698

BRIAN SCHAFFER, a minor, by his parents and next friends, JOCELYN and MARTIN SCHAFFER, et al., PETITIONERS v. JERRY WEAST, SUPERINTEN- DENT, MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, et al.

on writ of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the fourth circuit

[November 14, 2005]

   Justice Stevens, concurring.

   It is common ground that no single principle or rule solves all cases by setting forth a general test for ascertaining the incidence of proof burdens when both a statute and its legislative history are silent on the question. See Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation v. EPA, 540 U. S. 461, 494, n. 17 (2004); see also ante, at 7; post, at 1–2 (Ginsburg, J., dissenting). Accordingly, I do not understand the majority to disagree with the proposition that a court, taking into account “ ‘policy considerations, convenience, and fairness,’ ” post, at 1 (Ginsburg, J., dissenting), could conclude that the purpose of a statute is best effectuated by placing the burden of persuasion on the defendant. Moreover, I agree with much of what Justice Ginsburg has written about the special aspects of this statute. I have, however, decided to join the Court’s disposition of this case, not only for the reasons set forth in Justice O’Connor’s opinion, but also because I believe that we should presume that public school officials are properly performing their difficult responsibilities under this important statute.

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