Legal Advice on Amendment 2, From Attorney Mo Brooks, Madison County Commissioner
Amendment 2, if passed, opens the door to circuit court judges having the power to raise income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, etc. without approval of the legislature, governor, school boards, county commissions, or city councils and without a vote of the people . . . if the judge first finds that "inequitable funding" has diminished one's Constitutionally guaranteed right to a free public education.
Bottom line: If Amendment 2 passes, one judge in one county elected by less than 1% of Alabama's population can impact Alabama's entire education system, impose any tax he believes is "good" . . . if doing so, in his own mind, is needed to protect a new constitutional right to an "adequate" education. The Alabama Constitution today vests this judgment and power in the legislature (and the other governing bodies, such as school boards, that the legislature has created).
Amendment 2 specifically repeals the language that vests in the legislature the power and authority to make policy and funding decisions regarding public education.
Remember 1990s Equity Funding lawsuit that takes 10s of millions of dollars from Huntsville schools and shifts it to other parts of the state? It was dismissed in 2002 by the Alabama Supreme Court in reliance on the very language Amendment 2 removes from our constitution. I've read the Supreme Court's 127 page opinion. Equity Funding lawsuits, and many others like them, can and will be revived if Amendment 2 passes.
In short: this is a Trojan Horse. It is a sugar-coated poison pill. It must be defeated at all costs. Ignore Huntsville Times' and other media editorials that believe in higher taxes no matter what and don't care about the subterfuge of this legislation.
BEAT THE DRUM! GET THE MESSAGE OUT!
P.S. - Feel free to distribute this message to whomever you wish. My legal and political analysis takes much more time than what I've described above, but the above does give the gist of Amendment 2 and helps explains why it must be defeated.