Looming education-funding fiscal and budgetary train wreck aided and abetted by Colorado Supreme Court
Days before a landmark school-funding lawsuit goes to trial, Gov. John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers on Thursday took a pre-emptive bipartisan stand against the legal challenge, arguing that it could cost the state billions of dollars if it loses in court. (Denver Post, “Colorado governor, attorney general stand against education-funding challenge“)
When Colorado’s Democrat Governor and Republican Attorney General agree that “education funding should be left to the legislature and voters” and not decided by the courts, it might be an indication of the return of some level of fiscal sanity to state government (or a sign of the impending apocalypse).
Unfortunately, the restoration of some level of sanity to Colorado’s judicial branch (which recently earned the state the title of “judicial hellhole“) may take a bit longer.
This educational-funding lawsuit (seeking to force even higher state educational spending by court order) represents yet another abuse of the courts for the pursuit of political ends – unfortunately aided and abetted by an all-too-complicit (and highly political) majority on the Colorado Supreme Court.
Current Chief Justice Michael Bender (together with disgraced then-Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, joined by justices Alex Martinez and Greg Hobbs) overturned two lower courts which had (correctly) dismissed the case (Lobato v. Colorado) as non-justiciable (meaning, not to be decided by the courts).
Unfortunately – thanks to the Colorado Supreme Court’s majority injecting their personal sympathies ahead of the law – this lawsuit has already cost the state tens of thousands, and if upheld will likely lead to court-ordered increases in funding (and, inevitably, taxation) – a violation of separation of powers, and yet another unconstitutional tax increase facilitated by the Colorado Supreme Court.
One not need look very far (indeed, just across the border to Kansas) to see the potential for a fiscal and budgetary train wreck of epic proportions. Indeed, as Governor Hickenlooper correctly points out, the consequences for Colorado would be “devastating.”
The issue of educational funding is NOT one for the courts, but rather for the legislature and/or local school boards. The Lobato lawsuit is a fiscal, legal, and political disaster in the making.
Clear The Bench Colorado will, with your support, continue to promote transparency and accountability in the Colorado judiciary, informing the public to increase awareness of the substantial public policy implications of an unrestrained activism and political agendas in the courts. We will continue to work to educate voters and provide information of relevance related to the judicial branch, and to provide useful and substantive evaluations of judicial performance.
Ultimately, though – it’s worth the effort.