Louisiana is doing the right thing, pushing higher academic standards. Gov. Bobby Jindal is doing the political thing, trying desperately to find a judge who will agree that the much-debated Common Core standards are some kind of threat to Louisiana’s children.
A federal judge in Baton Rouge on Wednesday rejected Jindal’s latest legal maneuver.
U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick refused the Republican governor’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Education and suggested Jindal would have difficulty winning his broader lawsuit against the federal agency.
The governor’s attorney said Jindal will appeal the ruling. What a colossal waste of money and time, based on Jindal politics.
The governor’s lawsuit mania began in August 2014, when he accused U.S. education officials of manipulating $4.3 billion in federal grant money and policy waivers to illegally pressure states to adopt the English and math standards and associated testing.
Failing to find an educational objection to the new standards, Jindal — who earlier backed the adoption of Common Core — falls back on fantasies of federal intrusion into state policy.
In rejecting the injunction, Dick said Jindal didn’t prove the state faces any possible injury if Louisiana decides to drop its use of the multistate standards and testing, developed by the states and not the U.S. Department of Education.
“In fact, the alleged injuries that Jindal anticipates, should the state discontinue its use of the (Common Core), appear to be purely speculative considering similar actions taken by other states that have not suffered the anticipated consequences,” Dick wrote in her decision.
She also said the governor didn’t prove “there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits” in the lawsuit’s broader effort to declare the federal grant and waiver programs illegal and unconstitutional.
We shall be less polite than the judge: This was legalistic gibberish from Jindal from the get-go.
The governor’s passion for “state sovereignty” is an excuse to file frivolous lawsuits so he can portray himself as a crusader against the Common Core standards he helped bring to Louisiana.
Beyond generating billings for former Jindal aide Jimmy Faircloth, we see no valid basis for an appeal to a higher court, especially on the issue of a preliminary injunction.
We have even less confidence than Dick that the state has anything like a plausible case. But litigating the denial of a preliminary injunction seems of limited value, except perhaps politically.