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By Robert Mann

If there was ever a politically motivated, frivolous lawsuit, it would be the thinly veiled campaign document that Gov. Bobby Jindal filed in federal court on Wednesday, alleging that the federal government coerced states like Louisiana to participate in Common Core.

In his suit, Jindal seems to say that he and other governors were forced by President Obama to apply for federal funds and join a national consortium, all of which supported the implementation of the Common Core standards in their states.

“In short, through regulatory and rule making authority, Defendants [the federal government] have constructed a scheme that effectively forces States down a path toward a national curriculum by requiring, as a condition of funding under the President’s Race to the Top programs, that States join ‘consortia of states’ and agree to adopt a common set of content standards and to implement the assessment protocols and policies created by that consortium, all under the direction of the United States Department of Education,” Jindal says in his suit. “It is impossible to square the executive actions at issue with settled Congressional authority or the Tenth Amendment.”

Funny, but that’s not what Jindal said in 2009, when he eagerly applied for the “Race to the Top” money. If he was being coerced into applying, he had an odd way of showing his displeasure.

“We are excited about the opportunity for our schools to ‘Race to the Top’ and attract more funding to help students succeed,” Jindal said in a press release on Nov. 5, 2009. “The strategies promoted in this competitive grant program are a step in the right direction and will provide the resources needed to support a sustainable model of growth.

While participation in this new initiative is voluntary, the Department of Education is encouraging local school boards and superintendents across the state to strongly consider this opportunity to provide flexible funds to our schools. [Emphasis added] Our children only have one chance to grow up and get the skills they need to succeed. We must take advantage of every opportunity we have to strengthen our education system and provide more opportunities for Louisiana children.”

Jindal also proudly put his signature on the documents which formalized Louisiana’s participation in the consortia that drew up the Common Core standards. He now claims he was coerced. If so, he must have been bound and gagged afterwards, because he never registered a complaint at the time.

From the day he decided to throw Louisiana’s educational system into chaos in order to build a national following over his newfound opposition to Common Core, Jindal has struggled to square his cheerleading for Common Core with his current hostility.

His federal lawsuit, however, strains credulity. To suggest he was coerced into participation means he was a fool in 2009 or he was misleading Louisiana voters.

He was a dupe or liar. Either way, it’s difficult to see how this helps Jindal construct an image as a decisive, well-informed leader.

The next question, of course, for Jindal is who is paying for this lawsuit, because it’s not a legitimate lawsuit. It’s a blatant campaign statement, designed for a presidential campaign and disguised as a legal document.

Like Common Core, Jindal has now apparently changed his position on frivolous lawsuits.

9 thoughts on “A dupe or a liar? Jindal’s frivolous federal Common Core lawsuit

  1. Common Core is voluntary – Jindal is screaming. President George Bush’s No Child Left Behind was MANDATORY and forced on all 50 states. Not a peep from Jindal or other conservatives. NCLB cost a lot of money, caused major changes in public education and states were forced to implement it or lose federal funding. Can anyone see the difference?


  2. Jindal had no issue refusing Medicaid expansion funds. Now, that’s where President Obama should have applied “coercion”.
    Healthcare and education budgets’ cuts are paying for this frivolous lawsuit along with all of the other lawsuits Jindal has lost.


    1. And yet he miraculously finds money to keep BR General’s ER open today. I wonder how many other hospitals are going to apply for these special funds that, but for him rejecting Medicaid expansion, they would not need.


  3. The 10th Amendment, really? Coercing states to apply for federal education dollars? As much as I wish it were there, the Constitution says nothing about the fundamental right to education, and for the last century or so, the Supreme Court has consistently held just that: If States want to provide education (and thankfully, all of them do), then that’s their prerogative. If the federal government wants to incentivize States to meet certain criteria in exchange for funding, it can do so under the Spending Clause. This is well-established law, especially as it relates to education.

    Who’s Jindal’s lawyer on this case? Wait… wait… let me guess…


  4. Rule 11 of the Federal Code of Civil Procedure states (in part) that:
    “By presenting to the court a pleading, written motion, or other paper—whether by signing, filing, submitting, or later advocating it—an attorney or unrepresented party certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances: (1) it is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation;”

    The rule goes on to state that:
    “If, after notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond, the court determines that Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court may impose an appropriate sanction on any attorney, law firm, or party that violated the rule or is responsible for the violation. Absent exceptional circumstances, a law firm must be held jointly responsible for a violation committed by its partner, associate, or employee.”

    While the rule does allow some wiggle room in challenging existing law, by allowing for “legal contentions [that] are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law;” the law was not mandatory, no one made him apply for the funds.

    Any basic Constitutional/Administrative law knowledge tells you this is a frivolous and politically motivated lawsuit. You couldn’t have gotten me to stake my bar license on signing this complaint.


  5. Too. too much. Governor.

    Frivilous lawsuits now?

    You just passed legislation to kill a lawsuit you didn’t like; but, now, you file this?

    Isn’t the Attorney General the Chief Legal Officer of the State? I do not see his name anywhere on this? Perhaps, Mr. Faircloth has become the Chief Legal Officer?

    Are you spending my taxpayer money to file this? What is your authority?

    Rise up and scream, people; this is way too much.

    You are trying to hard, Governor! And, it is obvious! And, it is pitifully sad!


  6. Piyush Jindal cares not one bit about the people of Louisiana. He will lie, and then dress it up, deceive, and do what ever it takes to secure a bid for the White House. After the shambles he is leaving the State of Louisiana in next year, just imagine how quickly he can destroy the entire country. If any person is capable of being a worse president that “W, ” it is Piyush.


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