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Monday, November 19, 2012

Ind. Courts - Supreme Court to hear oral argument in the school voucher case Wednesday morning [Updated twice]

Tomorrow the Supreme Court hears oral argument in the case of Teresa Meredith et al. v. Mitch Daniels, et al. (49S00-1203-PL-172)

This case involves constitutional challenges to Indiana’s “Choice Scholarship Program,” signed into law by Governor Daniels on May 5, 2011. The Plaintiffs/Appellants are 12 citizen taxpayers opposed to the Program. After denying Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, the Marion Superior Court, Judge Michael D. Keele presiding, entered summary judgment in favor of Defendants on January 13, 2012. The Supreme Court granted transfer pursuant to App. Rule 56(A), thereby assuming jurisdiction over the appeal.
Trial Court Documents. The ILB has posted the earlier, trial court documents in this case:
Here is the 14-page Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, filed July 1, 2011. It begins:
1. This is a lawsuit for declaratory and injunctive relief, in which Plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of Indiana's "Choice Scholarship Program" ("CSP"), which was enacted on May 5, 2011 as part of House Enrolled Act No. 1003, §§ 5-6 & 10, P.L. 92-2011. Taking effect on July 1, 2011, the CSP creates a program under which the State - rather than educating Indiana children through a "general and uniform system of Common Schools," Ind. Const. art. 8, § 1 - would instead use funds raised for public education to pay for a portion of these children to receive their state-funded education in private schools. The vast majority of these CSP schools will be religious institutions, which are extensions of the religious ministries of the churches that sponsor them, and which exist for the purpose of providing their children with an education based on and grounded in religious training and worship. The CSP will be implemented beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.

2. This use of taxpayer funds is contrary to the Indiana Constitution's directive in Article 8, § 1 that the General Assembly provide for the education of Indiana children through "a general and uniform system of Common Schools." And it is also incompatible with the Constitution's provisions, found in Article 1, § § 4 and 6, that safeguard Indiana citizens' freedom of conscience by ensuring that they are not compelled, through the taxes they pay, to support religious institutions, ministries, and places of worship against their consent.

The relief sought:
1. Declare the Choice Scholarship Program unconstitutional under (a) Article 8, § 1, of the Indiana Constitution; (b) Article 1, § 4, of the Indiana Constitution; and (c) Article 1, § 6, of the Indiana Constitution;

2. Preliminarily and permanently enjoin defendants, and all persons and entities acting under their direction or in concert with them, from taking any measures to implement or enforce the Choice Scholarship Program;

3. Award plaintiffs their attorneys' fees, expenses, and costs incurred in prosecuting this lawsuit; and

4. Order such other and further relief as this Court may deem appropriate.

Here is a copy of the 40-page plaintiffs' brief, which accompanied the July 1, 2011 complaint. Here is the State's "Memorandum in Opposition to the Motion for Preliminary Injunction." It is a very large (over 2 MB) file, 50 pp. of memo followed by 16 pp. of exhibits. The State's Table of Contents, pp. 2-4, provides a good outline of the State's argument.

Here is a copy of the 65-page Intervenor Applicants' Brief in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Injunction.

Hearing Date. Aug. 11 is the date set for a hearing on the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction.

Here is a copy of Marion Superior Judge Michael D. Keele 10-page, Jan. 13, 2012 ruling in Meredith v. Daniels, which begins:

Plaintiffs have brought this litigation challenging the constitutionality, under several provisions of the Indiana Constitution, of the Choice Scholarship Program (CSP) enacted by the 2011 Indiana General Assembly. The matter is now before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, Defendant-Intervenor's' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendant-Intervenors' Motion for Summary Judgment. Upon consideration of the submissions and arguments of counsel, this Court determines that this case is more appropriately decided on summary judgment, and the Court finds that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that Defendants and Defendant-Intervenors are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on all of Plaintiffs' claims for the reasons set forth below.
Supreme Court Documents. On March 16, 2012 the Supreme Court granted transfer pursuant to App. Rule 56(A), thereby assuming jurisdiction over the appeal.

This is direct transfer from the trial court. Here is a copy of the Court's Rule 56(A) Order transferring the appeal to the Supreme Court, and denying the motion to expedite the appeal.

On Sept. 19, 2012, oral argument was scheduled for Nov. 21, 2012, and 60 minutes was allotted, equally divided between Appellants and Appellees.

[Updated]

Here is the 30-page brief of Defendant-Intervenor Appellees (Plaintiffs below), filed April 11, 2012

Here is the 62-page brief of the State of Indiana Defendants-Appellees (Defendants below), filed April 11, 2012

A reader notes that Glenda Ritz is listed as one of the plaintiffs and Tony Bennett as one of the defendants.

[Updated again]

The ILB has now received the Joint Motion to Transfer filed Feb. 6 by the Defendant-Appellees and Defendant-Intervenor-Appellees.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 19, 2012 10:22 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts