April 23, 2016

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: State legislator to sue the federal government.

A Georgia lawmaker is suing the federal government on behalf of taxpayers for what he calls “illegal and unconstitutional directives” from the Education Department.

Republican State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, who chairs the influential Georgia House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education, filed the lawsuit along with his wife, alleging the federal government violated the Administrative Procedure Act when they issued a “guidance document” that included onerous new regulations for schools to follow. If schools fail to abide by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights’ ever-changing guidance, they risk losing federal funding.

Ehrhart has been a vocal critic of the Department’s “Dear Colleague” letters, which began forcing colleges to spend more and more money to adjudicate felonies in 2011. In January, Ehrhart told school administrators: “If you don’t protect the students of this state with due process, don’t come looking for money.” It was the strongest statement yet on the issue from a legislator.

In his lawsuit, Ehrhart claims the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter imposed “unnecessary costs and expenses that flow directly to both Federal and Georgia Taxpayers, including Plaintiffs, under the threat of Federal funding being revoked for the schools’ failure to comply.”

Stay tuned.

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