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Idea of the Day: The Conservative Backlash Against Courts that Order Education Reform

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Conservative governors and legislators across America are angry at the third branch of government. Some of these lawmakers are pushing legislation that could throw judges off the bench, while others are pushing to limit judicial authority. In one state, a governor unilaterally removed a justice of the state supreme court. Another Republican governor has publicly vowed to defy a ruling in a pending case if he does not like the outcome. Many of these proposals violate the separation of powers principles in their respective state constitutions. But some of these politicians want to amend their state constitutions to give the executive and legislative branches exclusive control over judicial appointments.

This conservative backlash is a response to court rulings that require the legislatures to spend more money on education or to distribute those funds more equally. These proposals send a message—a warning to judges that legislators have the means to punish courts that rule against the state.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund, women's issues)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (energy and environment, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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