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Integrity of NC court questioned as Republicans meddle in Leandro education case

North Carolina’s Leandro court case has been ongoing for 28 years. The landmark education funding case has made its way back to the state Supreme Court, as a ruling by the court late Monday night brought the latest litigation in the school funding case into consideration. 

Since the state Supreme Court’s ruling in 1994, which found that the state was failing in its responsibility to adequately educate our children, the trial court has held numerous hearings, issued reports, orders, and other memoranda including on performance problems in schools across the state.

In the last few years, Superior Court Judge David Lee has repeatedly stood firm in demanding legislators fund a remedial plan that will ensure students across the state have the opportunity to obtain a sound, basic education as guaranteed in the state constitution.

In spite of longstanding unmet needs plaguing public schools, state Republicans have continued to fall short in adequately funding schools and have stood in the way of Judge Lee’s court orders.

Justice Paul Newby’s latest order to remove Judge Lee from overseeing the case in favor of his Republican colleague and fellow alumnus, Judge Michael Robinson, has alarmed many – sparking questions around suspicions of the integrity of the court and the repeated issue of Republican lawmakers using GOP judges to do their bidding

The change comes as Republican leaders in the legislature have been openly critical of Lee and the Leandro plan to provide a basic education for all North Carolinians. Republicans leaders have “strongly advocated” the removal of Judge Lee from the bench. 

Newby’s action calls into question the political motivation of Republicans, as the change of judges to favor their own party could guarantee a swift decision in letting the GOP skirt their responsibility of properly funding schools.


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