The Money-Obsessed Leandro Lobby Comes Clean | Eastern North Carolina Now | The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Leandro case on August 31

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Dr. Terry Stoops.

  • The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Leandro case on August 31
  • Chants of "cut the check" and "let the money go" during Every Child NC's Leandro-themed carnival capture the progressive coalition's fixation on securing massive funding increases to bolster the status quo
  • Democrats have a 4-3 advantage on the state Supreme Court, and Justice Sam "Jimmy" Ervin IV is the swing vote

    Few moments better capture the Leandro lobby's warped priorities than a crowd chanting "cut the check" and "let the money go."

    According to News & Observer reporter Keung Hui, that was the scene during a Leandro-themed carnival on Saturday in Raleigh. The sparsely attended gathering outside of the Legislative Building featured food, balloons, t-shirts, and "music" by the Triangle chapter of "Raging Grannies."

    Every Child NC organized the festivities to call attention to the long-running Leandro school funding case and the upcoming August 31 hearing before the North Carolina Supreme Court. Instead, the event laid bare the rapacious underbelly of the Leandro lobby, which apparently couldn't even muster chants that mentioned the children and families whose interests they purportedly champion.

    The state Supreme Court hearing is the culmination of years of advocacy efforts by more than three dozen special interest groups, progressive organizations, and union-supported enterprises that are members of North Carolina Communities for the Education of Every Child or Every Child NC. As part of its "state-level systemic change strategy," the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awarded a $60,000 grant to the left-wing North Carolina Justice Center in 2020 to establish the Every Child NC coalition. Its activities have included gatherings, documentary screenings, lobbying, and hootenannies.

    Even before the creation of Every Child NC, progressives and their media allies committed untold resources to execute a strategy to subvert their primary nemesis: the Republican-led General Assembly. In recent years, they urged the courts to circumvent lawmakers and order state government agencies to extract billions of taxpayer dollars from state coffers. Those funds would finance the Comprehensive Remedial Plan, a preposterous mishmash of high-dollar initiatives outlined by California-based consultant WestEd months before the coronavirus pandemic.

    Although Democrats have never been reluctant to use the courts to advance their political agenda, their primary strategy was to reclaim a legislative majority. If voters handed the majority to Democrats in the 2018 or 2020 general elections, they would have approved massive tax increases to fund the Comprehensive Remedial Plan, claiming that the Leandro tax was necessary to fulfill their court-ordered obligations.

    Instead, voters opted to retain the Republican majorities in the state House and Senate and thus forced the Leandro lobby to navigate the case through the courts. Unlike their Democratic counterparts, Republicans had little interest in surrendering budgetary authority to Superior Court Judge David Lee.

    Judge Lee was appointed in 2016 after the incomparable Judge Howard Manning retired due to health challenges. Lee established a record of near unconditional deference to opportunistic lawyers, advocates, and consultants who had long wanted the courts to compel elected officials to pour taxpayer dollars into public schools in the name of "adequacy." Earlier this year, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby assigned oversight of the case to Special Superior Court Judge Michael Robinson after Judge Lee reached the mandatory retirement age of 72. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done, and the case was on track to return to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

    Democrats have a 4-3 advantage on the state Supreme Court. Justice Sam "Jimmy" Ervin IV has been the most sensible jurist in the majority and thus is the swing vote. In the past, Justice Ervin has affirmed the legislature's clear authority to collect and distribute tax revenue. In his 43-page opinion in Cooper v. Berger, he declared,

    The appropriations clause of the North Carolina State Constitution provides that '[n]o money shall be drawn from the State treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law. In light of this constitutional provision, '[t]he power of the purse is the exclusive prerogative of the General Assembly,' with the origin of the appropriations clause dating back to the time that the original state constitution was ratified in 1776.

    Despite his deference to the legislature in Cooper v. Berger, there is no guarantee that Ervin will apply the same logic in the Leandro case. Justice Ervin recently supported the convoluted reasoning of his Democratic colleagues in NAACP v. Moore, which asserted that the courts could negate constitutional amendments approved by a "gerrymandered" legislature. Justice Ervin's willingness to undermine legislative authority in that case bodes well for the Leandro lobby, which has cut many checks to support his reelection campaign against Republican challenger Trey Allen.

    The August 31 oral arguments will offer ample opportunities to read the tea leaves. Otherwise, I suspect that the state Supreme Court will publish their opinions after the November election.
Go Back


Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )




Duke Health emerges as Southern hub for youth gender transition John Locke Foundation Guest Editorial, Editorials, Op-Ed & Politics Local Tunnel 2 Towers Leader Speaks with Eden Gordon Hill


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

"...everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to simply be perfect consumer slaves."
During a camping retreat this week to recharge for more rioting before, during, and after the midterm elections, a group of progressives sat around a campfire and enjoyed swapping scary stories about climate change.
Mortgage rates are approaching 7% as the housing market continues to experience turmoil.
According to a Reuters report, tweets soliciting child sex abuse material have appeared alongside or on profile pages of at least 30 major advertisers’ Twitter accounts. Some of those companies are now pulling their ad services off the social media platform.

HbAD1

‘Gravest technological threat’ to liberty
A local couple is in shock today after a startling visit from Rightful Georgia Governor® Stacey Abrams. According to sources, the couple was listening to the heartbeat of their child on a sonogram for the very first time when Abrams burst through the wall like the Kool-Aid man
Have you ever seen former New England Patriots star Julian Edelman’s unbelievable catch as part of the team’s 25-point comeback in Super Bowl 51? It undoubtedly took “great skill” and “good luck” — thanks, in large part, to his years of practice and determination.
Earlier this year, I wrote how former congressman and Trump administration chief of staff Mark Meadows may have committed voter registration fraud in North Carolina.
“The Chosen” creator Dallas Jenkins recently spoke to The Daily Wire about the uses of social media and if he thinks Jesus would’ve used it, had it been available in first century Galilee, to spread his message.
Matt Walsh is once again stirring up controversy after he shared pictures of Nazi death camps on his Twitter account with the words "We must never let this kind of evil happen ever again."

HbAD2

More than 2.5 million businesses and homes in Florida were left without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday morning as utility companies work to repair the state’s electrical grid.

HbAD3

 
Back to Top