The nation’s highest court on Monday rejected an appeal from lawyers representing more than 7,000 school workers who argue they were wrongfully fired after devastation from Hurricane Katrina closed New Orleans schools indefinitely.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition for a hearing without giving a reason for its decision. The ruling effectively ends the legal battle over compensation for the thousands of employees fired after Katrina by the public school system.

But the lawyer for the school workers said Monday he would take the matter to Congress and seek redress through the legislative branch.

“My disappointment is small compared to the harm done to thousands and thousands of people,” said Willie Zanders, a lawyer for the fired teachers and workers. “We do believe the judicial branch has failed a lot of people.”