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Fighting the Administrative State’s ‘Bill of Rights’

Legacy Education Group v. Arizona Board of Charter Schools

Case Status

Date Filed

September 27, 2017

Last Step

Filed amicus brief in the Arizona Court of Appeals

Next Step

Awaiting decision

Case Overview

Charter schools give parents a wider range of choices when it comes to educating their children. That’s good because parents are in the best position to know their children’s educational needs—and the more choices available to them, the better. But often, schools are subjected to burdensome regulations that sap their resources and limit their ability to teach kids as best they can. It’s right for the state to ensure that schools provide an adequate education, but when schools are forced to time and money complying with a host of rules, that’s time and money they can’t spend on kids. How to strike the proper balance? That’s the question at the heart of this lawsuit, which involves rules that Arizona education officials imposed on the schools in the state. Ordinarily, regulatory rules cannot be adopted without first going through a rulemaking process that ensures open discussion and public participation before the rule goes into place. This rulemaking process is so important that some writers have called it the “bill of rights for the administrative state”—because it stops bureaucrats from imposing restrictions on people without checks and balances. But in this case, the Board adopted the rules by calling them “frameworks” instead, arguing that it wasn’t required to go through the rulemaking process. The Legacy Education Group sued to challenge that, and the Goldwater Institute filed a friend of the court brief to support them, arguing that it’s important for courts to vigorously enforce the rulemaking process.

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