The 6th Circuit has this one. Gary B v Whitmer concerns children in a really poorly performing Detroit public schools: miserable classroom conditions and abysmal test scores.
The appellate court decided, though, that this matter had nothing to do with the quality of the schools, over which the court has no jurisdiction, and everything to due process as delineated in our Constitution’s 14th Amendment, within which the court does have some jurisdiction.
Acting within that capacity, the court manufactured out of whole cloth, a brand, spanking new right: a state-funded education. Whereby this appellate court has also asserted the Federal government’s right and authority to dictate to a State on matters which the court acknowledges to belong to the State and not to the Federal government.
The Wall Street Journal noticed one of the foolishnesses of this ruling [emphasis added]:
The decision…notes there is a history of public education in the US and “a substantial relationship between access to education and access to economic and political power.” Surely the same could be said of home ownership. Does the Constitution command subsidized housing? “Property,” unlike education, is at least mentioned in the Constitution.
Indeed. And [emphasis added here, too]:
When judges invent new rights they can also damage the democratic process. The Supreme Court has warned against the Due Process Clause being “subtly transformed into the policy preferences of the Members of this Court.” Yet that’s what will happen if federal judges are put in charge of state and local education policy. The majority says poor education undermines democracy, and that’s right—but judicial imperialism threatens it even more.
That brings to mind, also, CJ Taft’s remarks in an earlier case:
The good sought in unconstitutional legislation is an insidious feature because it leads citizens and legislators of good purpose to promote it without thought of the serious breach it will make in the ark of our covenant or the harm which will come from breaking down recognized standards.
So it is, too, with extra-Constitutional judicial rulings.
The 6th Circuit’s ruling can be read here.