The Colorado Supreme Court has announced that it will live stream the oral arguments in Lobato, et. al., v. State of Colorado tomorrow, Thursday, March 7, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The Court explained that it agreed to the unusual procedure because demand for seats in the courtroom so heavily outweighs availability. In addition to the live stream available on the Internet, the Court will also live stream the argument into the Colorado Court of Appeals Courtroom on the first floor of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center and in the training facility in the office tower.
The issues raised in the Lobata case are centered on state educational funding. Colorado’s constitution imposes a duty on the state to provide “for the establishment and maintenance of a thorough and uniform system of free public schools throughout the state.” Plaintiffs challenged the funding of public schools, arguing that as a result of irrational and inadequate funding of public education, Colorado has failed to establish and maintain a “thorough and uniform system” of public education. Following a trial, the lower court held that Colorado had failed to meet its constitutional duties, and ordered it to reform its funding system. On appeal before the Colorado Supreme Court, the State has raised a number of challenges to the lower court’s decision, including arguments that upholding the district court decision would be an unconstitutional judicial intrusion on the executive branch and the legislature, and that education spending must be balanced with other state budgetary needs. Some of the Plaintiffs in the case include parents of Boulder Valley School District students.
Online streaming of tomorrow’s oral arguments can be heard here.
The Opinion of the trial court that is the subject of the appeal can be found here.