by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The Carolina Journal reports that the NC Court of Appeals ruled that the recent order issued by Judge David Lee in the Leandro case is unconstitutional.
The order bypassed the elected members of the General Assembly and required the state budget director, State Controller Linda Combs, and State Treasurer Dale Folwell to take $1.7 billion from the General Fund to satisfy the first two years of the Leandro remedial plan.
As I wrote in a recent article, “The order is part of an enormously foolish, even dangerous, scheme to extract billions of dollars in taxpayer money from the General Fund without the requisite approval from the legislature or voters. It is an anti-democratic powerplay with the potential to mutilate North Carolina’s constitutional order.”
The N.C. Court of Appeals has thrown out a retired trial judge’s order forcing state officials to transfer $1.7 billion out of the state treasury for education-related spending.
The split 2-1 ruling from the state’s second-highest court arrives less than a week after the state controller asked the court for a “writ of prohibition” blocking the money transfer. The order would have forced the controller and other state officials to remove money from the treasury without authorization from the General Assembly.
Judges Chris Dillon and Jefferson Griffin, both Republicans, issued the order.
“This Court has the power to issue a writ of prohibition to restrain trial courts ‘from proceeding in a matter not within their jurisdiction, or from acting in a matter, whereof they have jurisdiction, by rules at variance with those which the law of the land prescribes,’” according to the court order.The Carolina Journal, “Split Appeals Court panel throws out $1.7 billion school funding order”