Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Attorney General Report to Supreme Court

Update: here's what happens when a non-legal person reads something that appears to be a legal brief - she gets it wrong.  This is a report from the Attorney General to the Supreme Court, NOT something written by the Supreme Court.

In my zeal to get this out there, I did not do my due diligence, believing I understood what I was reading.

Mea culpa.

end of update.

In what is a fairly quick read at 17 pages, here's what the Attorney General said to the Supreme Court in an update about McCleary. (Bold mine)

- they review that they had previously stated  "defer to the legislature's chosen means of discharging its article IX, section 1 duty" but retained jurisdiction "to monitor implementation of the reforms under ESHB 2261...

- they go on to review if the Legislature is to be held in contempt under their previous ruling.  They note that although the Legislature has not completed the work "however, there are a number of bills offered in both chambers of the Legislature that are responsive to the Court's orders." 
These bills contain provisions that, if enacted in various combinations, would result in compliance with the Court's January 9, 2014, Order and thereby purge contempt. 
Please note that "if" at the beginning of the previous statement.  That's a lot of lining up for the Legislature to do to get the contempt purged.


Until the Legislature has concluded its work for 2015 and the Governor has acted on the budget and any other education-related legislation that has passed both houses, the State cannot represent to the Court whether actions taken this session achieve compliance with the Court's orders.  
The Attorney General goes onto to say that the Supreme Court is not reconvening until the Legislature finishes its work to decide if contempt has been purged and "whether to impose sanctions or other remedial measures... "

The ruling then details bills currently being considered and their relation to McCleary.

While they mention K-3 class size reductions, there is no reference to 1351.

They says they "expect the State to file an updated memorandum at the close of the final session of the 2015 Legislature and it will be due the day after the Governor acts on the budget OR the last McCleary-related bill is passed by the Legislature."


Anonymous said...

The link appears to be from the state's response to the Court's order (rather than anything from the Supreme Court itself). Was there a court ruling?


Lynn said...

Here's a link to the published documents in the case.

My favorite is Plaintiffs' Answer to the Amicus Brief of Past Governors.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lynn, nailed it.

Unknown said...

I'm with confused... That is the State's report to the Supreme's not the Supreme's ruling isn't it?

Lynn, I too love that one.


Anonymous said...

Separate topic:
Has there been a thread about the Advanced Learning focus group for HCC at Madison MS and WS High School? I am curious to know a variety of thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

This is not a ruling from the Supreme Court. The link is to the state of Washington's brief that was submitted to the Supreme Court.

A lawyer

mirmac1 said...


Perfect. The Reply brief was on point with just that hint of snark. : )