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Federal Judge Rules Gov. Jindal's Common-Core Lawsuit Can Proceed

A U.S. District Court judge ruled Feb. 26 that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education over the common-core standards will be allowed to proceed. Lawyers for the department sought to have the case dismissed.

Judge Shelly D. Dick of the U.S. District Court for the middle district of Louisiana wrote in the ruling that Jindal proved to the court's satisfaction that he had a right to sue the federal government over the Common Core State Standards. However, the judge also said that although Jindal had standing for his lawsuit, he was far from winning the lawsuit itself.

"To be clear, the court finds only that Governor Jindal has sufficiently alleged facts which support the finding that the court has subject matter jurisdiction," Dick wrote in the 20-page ruling. "The burden remains on Governor Jindal to prove these allegations on their merits. Furthermore, the Court is not called upon to enter the political arena to judge the merits of common core, and it will not do so."

Jindal, a Republican who at one time supported the common core but has waged a nonstop war over the standards and aligned tests since last summer, alleged in his suit (filed last August) that the department and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan forced states to adopt the standards, and were pushing states "down a path toward a national curriculum." 

"Seeking succor in the shelter of the Tenth Amendment, Governor Jindal argues that the DOE leaves no room for the states to exercise their sovereign authority over education," Dick wrote in the ruling.

The U.S. education department sought to dismiss Jindal's suit for lack of standing. 

As Danielle Dreilinger pointed out in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Dick wasn't afraid to highlight Jindal's prior commitment to the standards in fairly colorful language: "With great fanfare, and a stated commitment to adopt common-core standards and implement assessments, Governor Jindal signed Louisiana's applications for substantial federal grant money available under the Race to the Top (RTT) Program," Judge Dick wrote. 

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