Is Breathalyzing Students At Prom Constitutional?

The Meriden Record Journal recently published a story about the Town of Southington’s decision to require all students attending dances and other major school functions to submit to a breathalyzer test as a condition of attendance.  Is this legal/constitutional?

The short answer is almost certainly yes.

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The New York Times Did Not Break The Law

The New York Times recently published Donald Trump’s tax returns from 1995, raising questions about whether The Gray Lady broke the law by doing so.  Generally speaking, tax returns are confidential and it is illegal for a person to publish them unless “authorized by law.” So, did the New York Times break the law? Read the rest of this entry »

Briefing Schedule Submitted In Education Ruling Appeal

The plaintiffs and defendants in the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell appeal, now pending in the Connecticut Supreme Court, have submitted a proposed briefing schedule for the appeal.  The schedule proposes that the parties complete all briefing by April 12, 2017.

Assuming that the Supreme Court approves the proposed schedule–and I believe it will–the Court will not hear oral argument until late April or May of 2017.  That means an actual decision by the Court is unlikely until the fall of 2017 at the earliest.

In my opinion, the proposed briefing schedule is reasonable.  This is a complex appeal with a voluminous record.  A more expedited briefing schedule would not have been realistic.

“Designated Survivor” And The Presidential Succession Act

Kiefer Sutherland is back to save the United States of America!  No, not as Jack Bauer, but as Thomas Kirkman, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who is the “Designated Survivor,” i.e., the cabinet member selected not to attend the State of the Union Address at which virtually the entire United States government is destroyed.

Just in case you are curious about the legal accuracy of the show, take a look at the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.  If the President and the Vice-President are dead, incapacitated or otherwise unable to exercise the powers of the Office of President, here is the order of succession :

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State Files Formal Appeal In Education Case

Last Friday (9/23) the Office of the Attorney General officially filed its appeal from Judge Moukawsher’s ruling concerning the constitutional adequacy of public education in the state. (The appeal has been assigned docket no. SC 19768.)  Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers had previously granted the Attorney General’s petition for permission to appeal that ruling, but the filing of a formal appeal form was still required. The latest filing is thus merely an administrative event.  The next big administrative issue that I expect the parties and the Supreme Court will soon address is establishing a schedule for briefing and oral argument.  Given the nature of the case and the complex trial court record, I would not be surprised if the oral argument isn’t scheduled until late winter or early spring of 2017.

Supreme Court Grants Petition To Review Education Ruling

Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers has granted the Attorney General’s petition to appeal Judge Moukawsher’s recent bombshell ruling on the constitutional inadequacy of elementary and secondary school education in Connecticut.  The Chief Justice also agreed to review issues the trial court decided against the plaintiffs.  The Chief Justice did not set a date for oral argument, nor did she establish a briefing schedule.  Stay tuned.

UPDATE (4:08 pm): The Supreme Court has issued an order granting the Attorney General’s request for a stay of the trial court’s ruling and order.  Also, Justice McDonald is recused from the case.

AG Seeks Supreme Court’s Permission To Appeal Educational Adequacy Decision

As anticipated, Attorney General George Jepsen today filed a petition with the Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court seeking her permission to immediately appeal the recent trial court decision in the CCJEF v. Rell case. The decision holds that much of Connecticut’s elementary and secondary school funding and teacher evaluation policies are unconstitutional. Click here for CT News Junkie’s story.

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Judicial Wisdom Or Judicial Overreach? Thoughts On The School Funding Decision

Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher spent nearly 3 hours earlier this week reading from the bench his long-awaited decision in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell “(CCJEF v. Rell”). The decision is a scathing indictment of the way Connecticut defines and funds elementary and secondary school education, the way it funds special education, the way it hires, evaluates, pays and retains teachers, and the way it funds school construction. The opinion describes the way the General Assembly has addressed each of these issues as irrational. Not just weak, poor or bad policy. IRRATIONAL policy. So irrational as to be unconstitutional in the judge’s view. The judge ordered the General Assembly to provide rational solutions to these issues within 180 days, at which time he will decide whether the solutions meet his standard of rationality. If not, he will impose his own solutions.

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State Education Funding Held “Irrational”

After 11 years of litigation, Judge Thomas Moukawsher has issued his 254-page decision (including appendices) in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell.  The decision is both a defeat and a victory for the plaintiffs.

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CT’s Government Could Use An Overhaul

Check out this post at CT Good Governance.