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December 21, 2011 10:44 PM UTC

State To Appeal Lobato vs. Colorado Loss

  • by: Colorado Pols

A fully expected development, given the enormous fiscal implications of the decision against the state regarding its constitutional obligation to provide a “thorough and uniform” public education system in the Lobato vs. Colorado suit. From a press release this morning:

Gov. John Hickenlooper released this statement today about the Lobato v. Colorado court case:

“It is clear after closely reviewing the judge’s decision in Lobato v. Colorado and consulting with Attorney General John Suthers that a final resolution of the constitutional and legal issues involved in the case require an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.

“The judge’s decision provided little practical guidance on how the state should fund a ‘thorough and uniform’ system of public education. Moreover, while the judge focused on the inadequacy of state funding, she did not reconcile this issue with other very relevant provisions of the Constitution, including the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, the Gallagher Amendment and Amendment 23.

“There are more appropriate venues for a vigorous and informed public debate about the state’s spending priorities. We look forward to a swift decision in this case so the people of Colorado and their elected representatives can participate in the school funding conversation.”


10 thoughts on “State To Appeal Lobato vs. Colorado Loss

  1. can only construct the current mess of a Constitutional tangle to mean that the state has to fund education pretty much to the exclusion of anything else.

    TABOR and Gallhagher don’t exempt the state from the Education Clause.

    I return to my initial assessment: the ruling that the state does not meet the requirements of the Education Clause must necessarily result in a significant referendum or series of referendums on the ballot.

    1. The Supremes kind of need to affirm it before people are going to get the message though. I’m curious what the legalese speakers think of the chances of the case being upheld by the somewhat different court.

        1. I respect the legislative primary arguments, but I also think that the legislature (and maybe the voters too) have failed their constitutional responsibilities. And that’s historically when the courts step in.

          Are they going to repeal the Education Clause?

          1. There is nothing in the decision that gives any guidance or instruction on how to proceed.  As the decision stands now, it is almost reckless – regardless of how correct it may be.  It’s nothing more than a pronouncement of something with which I think we ALL agree.

            All the decision says is that the legislature has failed to adequately fund education.  That’s why the Supreme Court will likely reverse and remand with instructions for the district court to engage in fact finding to determine what “adequate” funding would be.

            To answer OrangeFree’s question, no.  The judiciary cannot order the legislature to enact anything – the judiciary would be violating the separation of powers clause of the Colorado Constitution.  

    1. I do think there are some things that the judge left undecided that could use some clarification, and the supreme court is the place to go for clarification on court orders.  The appeal is a good move, even if it delays the outcome of what I consider to be a good ruling.

    2. Have no respect for our democratic processes. That is why Democrats like Hickenlooper and Republicans like Suthers have no daylight between them, even though they probably don’t agree on what constitutes a “thorough and uniform” education.

      What they agree on is that we have a legislative process for working it out.

      1. Do you disagree with the US Supreme Court whenever it invalidates laws with which you disagree?  Or when it tells the President and Congress that they are not meeting their obligations under statute or the Constitution?

        The courts are there in part to be the voice that says that the government is not following the Constitution or the law.

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