November 3rd was a night of many victories for the Republican Party and Conservatism in general, but one of the most important wins of the night might have gone relatively unnoticed around the country.
In Mississippi, a referendum made its way onto the ballot that, had it passed, would have essentially taken budgetary power away from the Legislature and put it into the hands of the courts. Backed by the teachers’ unions and funded by deep-pocketed special interests, this measure would have required the Legislature to either fully fund the education formula or the courts would do it for them.
According to this story in Real Clear Politics:
If you sue the state of Mississippi for failing to do its job (like not funding the education formula), the case is heard in Hinds County where the state capitol, Jackson, sits — the state’s most liberal jurisdiction.
In other words, a judge elected by the state’s most-liberal electorate would have the power to overrule any legislative decision about school funding.
That could include consolidating districts. So, in theory, you could have a city district and a county district side-by-side — one sufficiently funded, the other not — and the judge could order the consolidation of those schools to equalize funding.
This would not be the first time that Democrats and the left have shown contempt for the will of the people. Some of the most egregious expansions of liberal social policy have come through the courts, and Pres. Obama is trying to sidetrack Congress with executive orders left and right. This move, however, takes a special kind of hubris in trying to take away such a basic legislative role as budgetary and funding issues, and essentially put it into the hands of school administrators and liberal judges.
Aside from the obvious, why was defeating this referendum so important?
Democrats picked Mississippi carefully. They have a high base vote in Mississippi (which comes as a shock to many people). The state has the nation’s largest black population by percentage, as well as a long tradition of supporting Democrats. They might have a hard time winning there, but their followers automatically show up at the door in fairly high numbers.
If this scheme had worked, the left probably would have tried it across the country.
So the next time you are toasting our victories from Nov. 3rd, make sure you raise a glass to the good people of Mississippi for holding the line and shutting down the latest scheme by the left.