Friday, February 25, 2005

St Louis Post Dispatch -- "CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: Radically wrong"

STLtoday- Editorial / Commentary Emphasis Mongo's:
SEN. MATT BARTLE, R-Lee's Summit, wants to slam the courthouse door on disputes about education funding.

The radical proposal by Mr. Bartle and two other GOP legislators states that the 'power to determine public school funding shall exclusively be the province of the people's elected representatives in the general assembly and their governor.'

Mr. Bartle's proposed constitutional amendment flies in the face of two centuries of republican government in the United States based on the principle that there should be a separation of powers among three branches of government.
Here you have the issue. THE COURTS are being stepped on by the EEEVVVIILL REPUBLICANS. Why should the courts have the power to determine the FUNDING of public schools? It seems to me that it is long overdue that there is some pushback to the mostly unelected "Men in Black", who think that they can rule this country from the bench without fear of the public.

His proposal would remove the courts from the equation, leaving the issue of education funding entirely to the Legislature and governor. As the nation learned during the civil rights era of the 1950s, the courts are key to enforcing constitutional promises that legislatures happily ignore.
"Constitutional Promises"? How about the courts enforce the LAW which is properly derived from the People, not from the bench.

The Bartle amendment, which would be submitted to the voters in 2006, comes at a time when more than 250 schools districts - rural, urban and suburban - are claiming in court that the state is violating the Missouri Constitution's requirements that public education be both adequate and equitable.
Oh no, it is going in front of the voters! He's not even going to try to hide it in the legislature. Maybe the Post doesn't like this because the courts are afraid to overstep their bounds when it comes to popular elected ballot issues? The courts prefer to subvert the public's interest outside the light of day, when they can be covered by their friends in the media.

Part of Mr. Bartle's argument is appealing. He complains that state money is paying for both sides of school funding litigation because school districts are paying the fees of the lawyers suing the state and the fees of lawyers defending the state. He also argues, correctly, that the power to appropriate money lies with the Legislature, not the courts...
Sound like good sense to me.

The rest of the editorial is here.


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