BREAKING: Cindy Hill Wins Wyoming Supreme Court Decision; Legislation that stripped the Superintendent of Public Instruction of much power ruled unconstitutional; The court ruled 3-2 in favor of Hill.
The entire decision and dissenting opinion can be read here. The document totals 80 pages.
“The legislature can prescribe powers and duties of the Superintendent, but it cannot eliminate or transfer powers and duties to such an extent that the Superintendent no longer maintains the power of ‘general supervision of the public schools,’” states the conclusion of the majority opinion. “The 2013 Act impermissibly transfers the power of general supervision form the elected constitutional office of Superintendent to the statutory office of Director of the Department of Education who is appoint by the Governor. … SEA 0001 is unconstitutional.”
Justice Burke wrote the majority opinion, and was joined by Justices Davis and Voigt. Chief Justice Kite and Justice Golden were the dissenting votes.
The dissenting opinion states that denying the legislature the ability transfer duties from the superintendent to another agency or office calls into question the legality of the board of education, the department of education, the school facilities commission and all of the other entities and and offices the legislature has created since 1917.
“If the legislation establishing other entities and offices and assigning them duties is unconstitutional, the entire state educational system is undermined,” states the dissenting opinion.