Good afternoon, ESA friends,
Since I last wrote you, there’s been some movement on the ESA-lawsuit front. You may recall, when I last updated we were waiting to hear if the Nevada Supreme Court was going to expedite the appeal in the Lopez case. Well, the Court did expedite the case and has set a briefing schedule.
For those of you who are new to this email list, the Lopez case is the lawsuit launched by Educate Nevada Now, which seeks to dismantle the ESA program. ENN claims that students using any of their per-pupil funding in anything other than a state-run school, is unconstitutional and will leave the state’s government-run schools underfunded. This is the lawsuit where a temporary injunction has been ordered, freezing the ESA program. The state treasurer, through the attorney general’s office, has filed an appeal.
The treasurer’s opening brief is due next Friday, March 4. The Lopez respondents will then have 21 days to file and serve their answering briefs. Next, the state treasurer will have 10 days to file and serve his reply brief. This should take briefing into the early weeks of April.
Afterwards, the Supreme Court will decide whether to take oral arguments in the case, and if so, when those oral arguments would be heard.
However the Court chooses to take the arguments, it will then review them and render a decision. There is no time limit for when the Court’s decision is due.
You may also recall that my last email said, “let’s just hope they [ACLU] don’t need to drag out the process with a bunch of depositions, interrogatories and other fishing expeditions.” Well, it looks like they do.
Monday morning, the plaintiffs in Duncan — the ACLU case claiming the ESA program is unconstitutional because parents may choose a religious private school — filed with the Court 84 factual issues they hope to investigate. For each of those questions, the ACLU is seeking information through various discovery methods such as interrogatories, depositions, and requests for production of documents.
The attorney general’s office should file its response on behalf of the Treasurer any day.
Remember, the Treasurer’s office is accepting mailed-in applications during February and March. They cannot process those applications while there is an injunction. So please, don’t expect a reply until the injunction is lifted (I have faith).
If you meet the 100-school-day eligibility and are mailing in an application, be sure to send it certified, return-receipt so you have documentation the application was received. You do not need to send your supporting documents. The Treasurer’s office will email you for those documents when they begin processing. Remember to include your email address on the application.
If you have not done so already, be sure to sign the NevadaESA.com petition urging lawmakers to defend, protect and advance the ESA program. Then, share it on Facebook and be sure to include the social-media campaign #LetOurChildrenSucceed. Use the hashtag in all your social-media conversations about ESAs. If you would like a hardcopy of the petition to take to your coworkers, sports practices, places of business or churches shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a file.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Stay strong, and #LetOurChildrenSucceed!