The Brennan Center and seven constitutional law and civil procedure scholars filed an amicus brief [PDF] in support of the Plaintiffs in Lobato v. State, a challenge to Colorado’s educational funding system brought by students, parents, and school districts.
Like most state constitutions, Colorado’s constitution imposes a duty on the state to provide adequate educational funding for its public schools. Following a trial, the lower court held that Colorado had failed to meet its constitutional duties, and ordered it to reform its funding system. On appeal before the Colorado Supreme Court, the State has raised a number of challenges to the lower court’s decision, including arguing that educational funding decisions are a “political question” and that the judicial branch therefore has no authority to adjudicate the Plaintiffs’ claims.
In their amicus brief, the Brennan Center and a group of constitutional law and civil procedure scholars argue that the State’s argument misconstrues the role of the judicial branch in state constitutional systems, like Colorado’s, that require the state to adequately fund services such as education. The brief argues that the judicial branch has both the authority and the responsibility to adjudicate the Plaintiffs’ claims, and that judicial oversight is particularly important because the lawsuit involves the constitutional rights of a vulnerable population unable to protect its interests in the political sphere.
Click here for a blog post related to the brief.
Click here for case related documents.