Magee v. Boyd

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Justia Opinion Summary

The issues presented in three appeals (consolidated for review) were ones of first impression to the Alabama Supreme Court regarding the state Accountability Act (AAA). Plaintiffs Daniel Boyd (superintendent of the Lowndes County Public School System), Anita Gibson (a teacher and president of the Alabama Education Association) and Senator Quinton Ross, Jr. (representative of the 26th District) sued Julie Magee in her official capacity as the Commissioner of Revenue, and Thomas White, Jr. in his official capacity as the state Comptroller. Plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the AAA under certain provisions of the Alabama Constitution of 1901 that allowed the substitution of House Bill (HB 84), the creation of certain tax credits, the appropriation of funds for those credits, the repeal of certain tax credits, and the creation of new debt - all in relation to education funding in the State of Alabama. The circuit court entered an order in favor of plaintiffs as to their first eight counts in their complaint. With regard to Counts IX and X, the court concluded the issues were moot. The circuit court then enjoined enforcement of the AAA. The State defendants moved to stay the circuit court order, then appealed. The Supreme Court, after careful consideration of the legislation at issue and the circuit court's order, affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The Court found: (1) no subsequent act of the Legislature mooted any issue presented here; and (2) the AAA was constitutional with regard to all of plaintiffs' allegations that it was not. The case was remanded for further proceedings on those issues deemed moot by the circuit court; the court was affirmed in all other respects.