Tennessee Star Supreme Court Justice Series: Major Opinions by Justice Roger Page

As Tennesseans prepare to head to the polls on August 4, where they will vote on whether to retain the state’s five Supreme Court justices, The Tennessee Star has completed a profile on each justice currently sitting on the bench.

Last week, The Star profiled Justice Roger Page.

Page recently opined after the court’s ruling on a high-profile Education Savings Account (ESA) Act case, wherein the city of Nashville and Davidson County sued the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) saying, in essence that the act was unconstitutional under the “Home Rule Amendment,” which allows a city to vote to ignore a law passed by the state legislature.

In that case, a trial court ruled in favor of the city and county, and motions to dismiss on behalf of TDOE were denied.

The trial court then voluntarily granted TDOE’s appeal.

An appellate court upheld the trial court’s ruling.

Upon appeal to the Supreme Court, the court ruled partially in favor of the city and county, but partially against it.

The court said:

We hold that Plaintiffs have standing to bring their Home Rule Amendment claim and affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals with respect to that issue. However, we hold that the ESA Act does not implicate the Home Rule Amendment such that the Act is not rendered unconstitutional by the Amendment, and we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals with respect to that issue. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court with respect to Plaintiffs’ claim under the Home Rule Amendment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the trial court for entry of a judgment dismissing that claim, for further proceedings consistent with this opinion, and for consideration of Plaintiffs’ remaining claims.

As reported recently by The Tennessee Star, ESAs are now ramping up in Tennessee.

Nashville and Memphis have now opened enrollment into ESA programs for parents.

“There was an urgent need for school choice in 2019, and finally, parents in Memphis and Nashville won’t have to wait another day to choose the best educational fit for their children,” said Gov. Bill Lee (R). “I thank each school that has partnered with us to swiftly implement a program that will change the lives of Tennessee students, and I invite interested families to begin the enrollment process today.”

ESA programs allow parents to remove their children from public or charter schools and receive a deposit for what it would cost for their child to attend those schools into a government-authorized savings account.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Tennessee Supreme Court” by Thomas R Machnitzki. CC BY 3.0.



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One Thought to “Tennessee Star Supreme Court Justice Series: Major Opinions by Justice Roger Page”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Vote against “retention” of all judges. It is past time to rid ourselves of this insane method of keeping judges. They should be required to be subjected to a real election process.