Articles Posted in New Mexico Supreme Court

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In Moses v. Skanders (Moses II), the New Mexico Supreme Court considered whether using public funds to lend textbooks to private school students violated Article XII, Section 3. In Moses II, the Court held the plain meaning and history of Article XII, Section 3 forbade such lending. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently vacated the New Mexico Court's judgment and remanded the case for further consideration in light of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, 137 S.Ct. 2012 (2017). On remand, the New Mexico Court concluded its previous interpretation of Article XII, Section 3 raised concerns under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. To avoid constitutional concerns, the Court held that the textbook loan program, did not result in use of public funds in support of private schools as prohibited by Article XII, Section 3. The Court also held the textbook loan program was consistent with Article IV, Section 31 of the New Mexico Constitution, which addressed appropriations for educational purposes, and Article IX, Section 14 of the New Mexico Constitution. View "Moses v. Ruszkowski" on Justia Law

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The issue this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court’s review centered on whether the New Mexico Public Education Department could take into consideration federal impact aid payments a school district receives, or is anticipated to receive, in the Department’s allocation of state equalization guarantee (SEG) distribution payments to the district during the fiscal year. The Court determined the Department could not reduce SEG distribution payments to a district based on anticipated impact aid payments or payments actually received until the State has received certification from the Secretary of the United States Department of Education (DOE Secretary) or the State has obtained permission from the DOE Secretary to consider impact aid prior to certification. Once the State has received its certification from the DOE Secretary, the certification shall apply retroactively to any impact aid payments received by the district during the entire fiscal year. View "N.M. Pub. Educ. Dep't v. Zuni Pub. Sch. Dist. #89" on Justia Law

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Petitioners who pursue the recall of a local school board member under the Recall Act are entitled to the procedural protections of the New Mexico statute prohibiting strategic litigation against public participation (Anti-SLAPP statute). This dispute arose out of a malicious abuse of process claim made by Taos school board member Arsenio Cordova (Cordova) against eighteen members of an unincorporated citizens’ association (collectively, Petitioners) following their efforts to remove Cordova from office under the Local School Board Member Recall Act (Recall Act). The New Mexico Supreme Court concluded that petitioners were entitled to immunity under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine when they exercise their right to petition unless the petitioners: (1) lacked sufficient factual or legal support; and (2) had a subjective illegitimate motive for exercising their right to petition. View "Cordova v. Cline" on Justia Law

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The New Mexico Department of Public Education’s (Department) Instructional Material Bureau purchases non-religious instructional materials selected by public or private schools, with funds appropriated by the Legislature and earmarked for the schools, and lends these materials to qualified students who attend public or private schools. The question this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court’s review centered on whether the provision of books to students who attend private schools violated Article XII, Section 3. The Court concluded that the plain meaning and history of Article XII, Section 3 forbade the provision of books for use by students atte View "Moses v. Skandera" on Justia Law