Chicago partner Jesse Ruiz was recently featured in the University of Chicago Law School web series, “My Chicago Law Moment,” which highlights how experiences at the school have impacted students and alumni.
Jesse, a 1995 graduate of the law school, recalled his time as a student in now President Barack Obama’s Current Issues in Racism in the Law class, where he learned about the U.S. Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe (1982). The high court ruling gives children a right to public education regardless of their immigration status.
In 2006, Jesse was chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education and faced a situation where a local school district had refused to enroll an Ecuadorian teen who was undocumented. Jesse remembered the Plyler case and moved to have the ISBE cut off the school district’s state funding—the first time in Illinois history this had ever been done. The next day, school district backed down.
Read more about Jesse’s My Chicago Law Moment, or watch the video below.