Sid Salter: Consider post-Initiative 42 political landscape

So let’s say Initiative 42 passes. The voters take the appropriations process away from the Legislature and put it in the hands of the judiciary along with the constitutional authority to determine exactly what constitutes an “adequate and efficient system of free public schools.”

People who argue that changing Mississippi’s constitution to enable and encourage such judicial activism have a woefully short memory and have forgotten the political cold war between the state’s trial lawyers and the state’s business and medical interests. It’s a story that has two sides….

…So with the passage of Initiative 42 comes a whole new set of political criteria for judges — trial court or appellate. How will that judge define “adequate and efficient system of free public schools?”…

…But if you liked Mississippi’s judicial elections in the tort reform era, you’re going to love them in the post-Initiative 42 era. Passing 42 simply drops the legal checkered flag for education equity funding lawsuits to commence in earnest — and for judicial elections to become referendums on K-12 education spending.

Clarion Ledger