Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mayor Frank Gilbert: State Supreme Court Out Of Order!

Dear Justice Dalby:

I am disappointed by the actions of Arkansas’ Supreme Court in what is sometimes referred to as the School Funding Case.

Truth is, I am not real proud of the efforts of the legislature in the matter either. However, that body has acted within its constitutional prerogatives. I’m not sure the same can be said of the Supreme Court.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the matter, so I turned to Arkansas’ Constitution to see what it had to say about education in our state. I was shocked at how little it says in comparison to how much you and other politicians have said and done!

It appears to me that all the pontification revolves around one paragraph in Article 14 that includes the phrase, “…the State shall ever maintain a general, suitable and efficient system of free public schools…” On that fragile foundation the court’s majority seems to have built an ungainly and fragile argument that it wishes to ram down the throat of its co-equal partner in governance.

I have read the words of angry justices who lashed out at the legislature. I’ve read accounts of a justice’s open laughter at the arguments of the people’s attorney. I hope that the court and its individual members can rise above their personal pique and pride. I hope that you and your fellow jurists can regain your composure and once again comport yourself in a way befitting your lofty post. But my hope is waning.

While I looked at Article 14 of the Constitution I noted that the first sentence of Section 3 read, “The General Assembly shall provide for the support of common schools by general law.” Finding that I was reminded that Article 4 established the three departments of state government and further says, in Section 2 “No person or collection of persons, being of one of these departments shall exercise any power belonging to either of the others, except in instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.”

I looked in vain for the express direction or permission under which you are acting.

In my searching I did find Article 15 which begins, “The Governor and all State officers, Judges of the Supreme and Circuit Courts, Chancellors and Prosecuting Attorneys, shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors and gross misconduct in office…” I’m certainly not schooled in the law, but to this layman your conduct to date seems a lot closer to impeachable than the failings of the legislature do to unconstitutional.

I again implore you to set aside personal vanity before you provoke a constitutional crisis. If the legislature is to be brought to heel it must be done by the ultimate authority in the state (no, that is NOT the Supreme Court). It is clear that you have no faith in the legislature. Don’t let your actions show that you also have no faith in the people of this great state.

Sincerely yours,

Frank Gilbert
Mayor, Town of TullMayor, Town of Tull

10 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

He also wrote a thank-you to Gunter and Hannah, who correctly ruled that the judicial branch does not have the authority to order the legislative branch to spend more money. This is in acord with over 200 years of tradition and law.

Mayor Frank Gilbert
Town of Tull
8416 Dogwood Loop
Tull, AR 72015

Associate Justice Jim Gunter
Arkansas Supreme Court
625 Marshall St.
1320 Justice Building
Little Rock, AR 72201

Dear Justice Gunter

Please accept my sincere thanks for your consistent position in what is sometimes called the School Funding Case.

Like many other Arkansans I also get impatient with the legislature. Certainly, their efforts in the School Funding Case have been less than perfect. However the proposed remedy of the majority on the Supreme Court is more harmful than the problem caused by the legislature.

Again, I salute you. Your temperate and calming influence on the court will benefit us all.


Sincerely yours,



Frank Gilbert
Mayor, Town of Tull

10:29 AM, December 29, 2005  
Blogger terrymcdermott said...

I wish Mayor Gilbert would run for Governor.

5:33 AM, December 30, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me too.

3:38 PM, December 30, 2005  
Anonymous Harvey Edwards said...

Thank you mayor. We need a good Constituional clean up. There is too much politics at hand and less actions being done for the people.
I want to paste a small segment from Warwick Sabin who has articles about the sealed vote for Speaker of the house. It is basically like everything else who ever makes more influential friends and who greases the right pocket.
It’s gotten emotional for some members,” Wills said. “Benny Petrus and Will Bond were on either side of the school consolidation issue from the 2003 session. Benny sided with those who wanted to make some last-minute budget changes, and Will wanted to go ahead and get it hammered out. That shut down the session, and I know some members still have some hard feelings over that.”

4:59 PM, December 30, 2005  
Anonymous B. M. Chandler said...

We need more people in this State and Republic that will recognize the law of the land and give full devotion to it. The Constitution of the Great State of Arkansas is just as significant as the Constitution of these United States.

Lex Rex!

5:35 PM, December 31, 2005  
Anonymous Harvey Edwards said...

Amen to that. and for anyone who would like a full copy of our Arkansas Constitution go to the capital and visit the elections office/Library they have free copies of many important documents and of course since we the people buy them , get two , one for a friend.

9:49 PM, January 01, 2006  
Anonymous Gerald Holland said...

Thanks, Mayor. Wish I had said that. Who are the usurpers on the court that are running for re-election this year. We need to know their names so we can encourage opposition and make them pay for their judicial tyranny.

Gerald Holland
Bella Vista, AR

7:32 PM, January 05, 2006  
Anonymous Horseman said...

Thanks mayor. Now here's some bus fare so you can go back to Tull, feed your chickens, husband your animals, or whatever you folks do for recreation in that muddy little trailer park you call a town.

12:16 AM, January 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Horsey,

If you have some critism of the Mayor's facts, logic, or reasoning, why don't you just point them out? Loading on personal insult as a substitute for logical argument went out in about the 9th grade.

12:17 PM, January 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:59 AM, March 16, 2007  

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