NC Republicans’ politicization of the courts shown clear in Leandro case developments

NC Republicans’ politicization of the courts shown clear in Leandro case developments

After 28 years, North Carolina’s landmark Leandro case is once again back in the state Supreme Court. In a ruling late Monday night, the North Carolina Supreme Court agreed to hear the latest litigation in the school funding case that began in 1994. 

Since the state Supreme Court’s ruling in 1994, which found that the state was failing in its responsibility to adequately educate our children, the legislature has gone backwards. The state Republican-led legislature has chosen dramatic tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, while students learn in adequate classrooms and educators receive stingy pay raises. 

  • In the last few years, Superior Court Judge David Lee has repeatedly stood firm in demanding legislators fund a remedial plan that will ensure students across the state have the opportunity to obtain a sound, basic education as guaranteed in the state constitution.
  • In spite of longstanding unmet needs plaguing public schools, state Republicans have continued to ignore adequately funding schools and stand in the way of Judge Lee’s demands.
  • Justice Paul Newby’s latest order to remove Judge Lee from overseeing the case in favor of his Republican colleague and fellow alumnus, Judge Michael Robinson, is a blatant example of the GOP deliberately finding ways to undermine our courts when they don’t like the decisions.
  • This extreme action follows Republicans in the legislature “strongly advocating” to remove Judge Lee from the bench. Republicans have called Lee’s November 2021 order for the state to fund the Leandro plan to provide a basic education for all North Carolinians a “gross overreach.”
  • The change in judges calls into question the integrity of the highest court in our state, as Justice Newby is assisting his Republican legislature counterparts in skirting their responsibility of properly funding schools.

With the Leandro case back in front of the state Supreme Court for the third time in nearly 30 years, our state has the opportunity to uphold the state constitution and fully finance the Leandro remedial plan with the funds readily available.

Yet, Republicans are doubling down on degrading the court to rule in their favor in order to dodge  accountability and responsibility.

Bottom Line:

We must ask why state Republicans are unwilling to rightfully and adequately invest in students across the state to the point that they would undermine our state courts and use children as political pawns.

Posted in ,

Alanna Joyner

Stay Informed