Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bebee Looks Right on Lakeview Case

By Mark Moore (click "comments" below for article).


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

It is not often a conservative blog will concur with Attorney General Mike Bebee, so this is news. We like his reasoning on the Lakeview case just as much as John Brummett hates it. In his column "Bad Sign : Judge Asks if You're Kidding", Brummett lays out the states case like so....

"• In this particular action, Rogers is asking the court essentially only one thing. It is to declare anew the system of education inadequate not on the basis of curricula or test scores or class sizes, but purely on account of an insufficient amount of appropriated money.

• That, argued Gauger and Beebe, effectively asks the court, in essence, to direct the legislature to appropriate more money. And that, they said, violates the separation of powers doctrine that reserves spending power for the legislative branch. Six courts around the country, the attorney general pointed out, have ruled they lack the power to tell their legislative branch what to do on budgets, either explicitly or implicitly.

• So, the attorney general argued, the court cannot in the current framing of the question call the education system inadequate because that would amount under that current framing to nothing more than money, thus to unconstitutional encroachment on the legislature’s exclusive spending power. "

It sounds very reasonable to me. John Brummett points out, correctly I think, that the judges won't go for it. I don't care. I don't care that the courts long ago ruled they had the power to override the will of the other two branches of government. What encourages me is not what the court says about its own authority, but what the other two branches of government are starting to say about it.

I do anticipate the courts will rule against the state. They will keep pushing as long as the other two branches of government allow themselves to be pushed. Which is not much farther I hope. Our system was meant to be one of checks and balances among the branches of government. It is time the other two branches quit sheirking their duty and check an uppity court.

9:25 PM, November 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The argument is fine, but what was stupid was making that argument after the same court had rejected it three times. If you want to win, argue something new and creative so the court will have something to hang their hat on. Beebe screwed the little schools by being an incompetent attorney.

7:04 AM, November 24, 2005  
Anonymous Mark M said...

You could argue that his heart was not really in it, but he was arguing from the same basic philosophy that the Governor has recently articulated. What other argument do you use? What the AG and the Governor are saying is 100% correct.

I don't think there IS a way to win it with a court that is determined to bench-legislate. The only recourse is to make it the issue, and then when they rule against you take it to the ledge, and the people, to check the courts.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all. The American Holiday!

7:54 AM, November 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will tell you how attorey's around Little Rock have said it should have been argued like this. Look, we know the legislature has a duty to fund education, and they have. They have increased the school funding dramatically. The COLA for this year was passed in the last special session, so they felt no need to give them two cola's for the same year. Give the leg time and they will demonstrate an emphasis on education. That would have probably been successful, but Beebe wanted to look like a hero and so we lose.

6:24 AM, November 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that they don't need the COLA, but our "Special Masters" don't seem to look at it that way. The courts are listening to them and not the people.

10:14 AM, November 26, 2005  

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