Hewitt and Eastman: Jindal’s Federal Common Core Lawsuit As Significant As Texas Decision To Halt Obama Amnesty

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Law professors John Eastman and Hugh Hewitt assert that the anticipated decision in the lawsuit Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has brought against the Obama administration’s Department of Education over Common Core could be as significant as the court’s decision in Texas to halt Obama’s executive amnesty.

In an op-ed at the Orange County Register, Eastman and nationally syndicated radio host Hewitt review Jindal’s complaint against the U.S. Department of Education and its secretary, Arne Duncan. The suit claims that “through regulatory and rule making authority, Defendants have constructed a scheme that effectively forces States down a path toward a national curriculum.”

Jindal, a likely Republican 2016 presidential contender, is arguing that under Duncan, the U.S. Department of Education used a $4.3 billion grant program known as Race to the Top, as well as waivers from the restrictions of No Child Left Behind, to manipulate states into adopting uniform “college and career ready” education standards and their associated tests. According to the complaint, these actions are in violation of the Tenth Amendment and federal laws that bar national control of education curriculum.

As Eastman and Hewitt indicate, U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick ruled at the end of February that Jindal had “standing” to bring his suit, and recently presided over the evidentiary hearings on May 28 and 29. Each side now has an additional three weeks to submit evidence.

“Expect this key decision in July,” write the Chapman University Fowler School of Law professors. “It could be as significant as the federal court decision in Texas that halted the president’s unconstitutional suspension of the nation’s immigration laws.”

The authors observe that regardless of the decision in Jindal’s case, state and local school boards are facing significant challenges in “the collapsing morale and educational achievement of their students,” and need to consider their own legal path to rid themselves of the Common Core boondoggle.

The Orange County Board of Education, Eastman and Hewitt note, is a local body that is considering legal action to break free of Common Core.

They continue:

We don’t always agree on matters, but when we do, we usually do so because of a shared belief in what the framers of the Constitution intended the federal government’s role to be. Thus we united around a robust understanding of the president’s war powers, and thus we are in agreement here that there ought to be zero role for the federal Department of Education in steering local districts toward – or away from – the Common Core standards.

The law professors assert that education issues have always been decided at the state and local level, “and the line is constitutionally compelled.” They add that Duncan’s action to use federal funds to force compliance with Common Core “is an unconstitutional condition and one that poisoned the entire program.”

Eastman and Hewitt urge Orange County authorities and local school boards to suspend adoption of the Common Core standards, return to prior testing and curricula, and take legal action to underscore that education decisions are to be made at the local level.


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