Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Courts are at it again

I don't even know what the underlying issue is, but I do know that, whatever it is, some judge somewhere in New York is taking over the role of a school board or other legislative body.

Faced with a new court order requiring that $5.6 billion more a year be spent on New York City's public schools, Gov. George E. Pataki did this week what he has done at every other stage of this long, drawn-out legal saga: he pledged to continue fighting the case, holding off the state's day of reckoning yet again. Governor Pataki said that he was moved to appeal the order because he thought the state's elected leaders should decide how much it spends on education, not its judiciary. But education advocates noted that the court handed down its order, on Monday night, only after the state's leaders failed to comply with an earlier court ruling to fix New York City's schools. (The ruling did not specify how much of the extra money should come from the state or from the city.)"
You can read the whole article here. Please note the NY Times' sneaky writing near the end of this quoted material. Pataki says, rightly, that he's appealing this order because the elected legislature, not some judge, should be deciding how to spend the state's money. The next sentence begins, "But education advocates noted that the court handed down its order, on Monday night, only after the state's leaders...." (Emphasis mine.) Because this is juxtaposed with Pataki's objection to court involvement, one assumes that it will end by saying that the court acted only after the state's leaders ignored their own legislative process. But, noooo. What it actually says is that the state leaders failed to comply with an earlier effort at judicial activism. All I can think of is the miserable, judically created boondoggle in Kansas City. You can read this Cato Institute analysis of the debacle that results when judges start ordering how vast sums of money should be spent, irrespective of what the people in the state or community actually want or are willing to do. I have had the dubious pleasure of being on the receiving end of orders generated by innumerable judges. With few exceptions, judges believe that, once sworn in, they suddenly become a conduit to some higher truth, unrelated to law. I have news for these judges: the higher truth in this land is our Constitution, and our Constitution is the most legal of all legal documents. Once our judges become one man (or woman) law machines, the rule of law that has made this country peaceful of prosperous is over, and anarchy (very expensive anarchy) begins.