skip navigation
search

SCHAFFER V. WEAST (04-698) 546 U.S. 49 (2005)
377 F.3d 449, affirmed.
Syllabus
 
Opinion
[ O’Connor ]
Concurrence
[ Stevens ]
Dissent
[ Breyer ]
Dissent
[ Ginsburg ]
HTML version
PDF version
HTML version
PDF version
HTML version
PDF version
HTML version
PDF version
HTML version
PDF version

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.