I noted earlier on this blog that I don’t know if the Vergara plaintiffs in California can clear the constitutional bar there and prove that various policies affecting school personnel are unconstitutional (if it was easy to prove that education policies violate state constitutions we wouldn’t have as many state finance systems that are unfair to poor students as we do).
But, for the plaintiffs it’s sort of a ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ situation because the trial moved the debate over these policies away from the public arena where anything goes and into a place where there are actual rules of evidence and argument. You can’t just say anything. The result was at times cringe inducing – a few of the cross-examinations of defense witnesses were a good reminder why you should do your homework before agreeing to do expert witness work. But the case also showed that just because these policies may be constitutional, they’re in need of change. Constitutionality is not the same as desirability.
How absurd is some of this? The closing argument by Marcellus McRae is worth the time for a watch/listen: