BOSTON—The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that prevented the insertion of literature denying the Armenian Genocide into the state school curriculum.
The unanimous opinion written by retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter, sitting on a three judge panel that included Michael Boudin and Jeffery R. Howard of Appeals Court dismissed the Griswold v. Driscoll case, in which plaintiffs were arguing for the inclusion of literature that denied the Armenian Genocide in the Massachusetts state human rights curriculum.
The appeals court said that the Guide on Armenian Genocide instruction “fit into the curriculum classification … [and] that law would not allow the genocide denial actions that the plaintiffs sought.”
“We welcome the Court’s landmark decision rejecting profoundly hateful and misguided pressure on educators to teach Armenian Genocide denial in America’s public schools,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We are deeply gratified to have played a meaningful role, along with our partners in the Armenian Bar Association, Irish Immigration Center, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, the Genocide Education Project, and the Zoryan Institute, in this major legal victory. We also want to especially thank Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr for their representation to ensure that America’s schoolchildren learn the truth about the Armenian Genocide and all instance of man’s inhumanity to man.”
The Assembly of Turkish American Associations and its supporters initially filed the suit in 2005 as a First Amendment case to thwart the teaching of the Armenian Genocide in public schools by insisting on the inclusion of denialist literature in the commonwealth’s mandated curriculum.
ATAA partnered with the Turkish-American Legal Defense Fund on this case. The spokesperson for the latter is the infamous genocide denialist Bruce Fein, who has often presented testimony to Congress and elsewhere in support of Turkey and against the Armenian Genocide.