Court to Antonio: You gotta be kidding

A three-judge panel of the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal unanimously kicked aside Mayor Villaraigosa's quest to rewrite democracy in Los Angeles and take power over the schools. They ruled that the voters already made their choice and that AB 1381, rammed through the Legislature last year by Villaraigosa and Speaker Fabian Nunez, is an unconstitutional attempt to change the rules. "The ruling is the second -- and perhaps final -- blow to what was once the centerpiece of Villaraigosa's education-reform plan," the Times story says. "In its one-paragraph conclusion, the justices gave particular importance to the revised Los Angeles City Charter that was approved during the term of then-Mayor Richard Riordan. That charter revision reaffirmed the election of school-board members with authority to govern the school district, in the view of the court."

Short and to the point:

"The citizens of Los Angeles have the constitutional right to decide whether their school board is to be appointed or elected," the justices wrote. "If the citizens of Los Angeles choose to amend their charter to allow the mayor to appoint the members of the board, such amendment would indisputably be proper. What is not permissible is for the Legislature to ignore that constitutional right and to bypass the will of the citizens of Los Angeles and effectively transfer many of powers of the board to the mayor, based on its belief, hope, or assumption that he could do a better job."

Villaraigosa will respond to the ruling at 2 pm.

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