by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Judge David Lee’s Leandro ruling is not a moral crusade. It’s a money grab. Today, Judge Lee trampled the North Carolina constitution and embraced a brazen scheme to sidestep the elected members of the General Assembly and raid the public purse.
Judge Lee had an opportunity to choose the middle road. That simply required respecting the constitutional authority of the legislature to dictate how taxpayer dollars are collected and spent, while holding state education officials accountable for their policy formation and program implementation.
Instead, he has been extraordinarily deferential to the opportunistic plaintiffs and defendants, never once questioning the remedial plan formulated by California-based consultant WestEd and partially funded by the Cooper administration. Sadly, Judge Lee has allowed himself to be complicit in a scheme to extract billions of dollars in taxpayer money without approval from the legislature.