LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Pulaski County Circuit Judge has pumped the brakes on the implementation of the LEARNS Act in Arkansas.
The lawsuit – filed by attorney Ali Noland – was based on how the emergency clause in the law passed. Noland argued it was unconstitutional because there was no separate vote on the emergency clause.
“We are very pleased with today’s ruling,” Veronica McClane, Chair of Citizens for Arkansas Public Education and Students said.
McClane is a plaintiff in the case, who hoped to see implementation delayed so her organization can have enough time to gather signatures to try and repeal the law through a referendum.
“Judge Wright ruled in our favor that the emergency clause didn’t follow the constitutional rules set forth in the Arkansas constitution, and so we’re very pleased,” she said.
Attorney General Tim Griffin and his staff represented the state and board of education in the case. Griffin said Friday, immediately following the ruling, that he already has plans to appeal.
Griffin said the way the votes were taken were according to a standard practice that has been followed for decades, and he pointed to the Senate and House of Representatives journal that reflects two votes.
Griffin added that he is confident leaving the issue in the hands of the Arkansas Supreme Court will work in the state’s favor, considering the Supreme Court already ruled in the state’s favor with the temporary restraining order placed on LEARNS by the same judge as this new ruling.
“We will be appealing as soon as possible,” Griffin said. “We obviously feel great about where we stand though having seen what the Arkansas Supreme Court justices think about the case in their last decision.”