Mandating Egalitarian Education Funding (Part Two)
My first post underscored how state courts became the next stronghold of judicial activism after the Warren Court. This has been particularly true with regard to school funding measures. In Texas, the school funding fiasco was unleashed by judicial creativity in order to get an egalitarian result.
Edgewood was a ridiculous decision when it was issued. The term “efficient” in Article 7, section 1 of the Texas Constitution plainly does not mean “equal.” Using any reasonable technique of interpretation, “efficient” means cost-effective, economical, or inexpensive. Despite clear legislative history of the term, Mauzy rejected the obvious meaning, stating that the Texas Constitution is “an organic document to govern society and institutions as they evolve through time.” In other words, to Mauzy and his activist colleagues, the Texas Constitution is a “living” document—the ultimate refuge of activist judges.
Mauzy was voted off the court in 1992, and by the mid-1990’s—around the time that Texas turned “Red”—the court was (and has remained) under the control of conservative justices. Yet for 26 years, despite numerous opportunities to overrule Edgewood, and abundant evidence that Edgewood created a quagmire of endless litigation, the Texas Supreme Court has unaccountably persisted with Mauzy’s folly.
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