Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Bill Frezza at Forbes: Arguing that declining to tax someone is not the same as giving them a government handout, the majority reinforced the idea that not all wealth is owned by the government, which only deigns to let us keep some at its pleasure.
hen President Obama outlines his tax-increase plan on Wednesday, it’ll be based on the liberal assumption that all money belongs to the government, with Americans retaining only what bureaucrats allow. That’s the dangerous argument Supreme CourtJustice Elena Kagan, an Obama appointee, made last week in a case on education funding.
Dave Cortman on KRLD News Radio 1080 with Mitch Carr: Parental Choice in Education Victory at the U.S. Supreme Court
ADF attorney Dave Cortman appeared on KRLD News Radio 1080 with Mitch Carr to discuss this ruling in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. | MP3 audio 3:10 mins
ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco appeared on the radio to discuss this: ADF attorneys win Arizona parental-choice-in-education case. | Talk from the Heart with Rich Buhler, MP3 audio 9:24 mins | Kresta in the Afternoon, MP3 audio 9:27 mins
Clint Bolick: “An outstanding week of success for school choice”, including new education savings accounts!
Clint Bolick at the Sonoran Alliance: “Monday the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the latest challenge to Arizona’s tuition scholarship tax-credit program, which provides dollar-for-dollar tax credits for contributions to private school scholarships . . . Later in the week, the Arizona Legislature increased the amount of the tax credit for the scholarship program from $1,000 to $1,500 per couple. Then on Thursday, the Arizona Legislature became the first in the country to approve education savings accounts, an idea born at the Goldwater Institute . . . ”
Dave Cortman on the Zeb Bell Show: Victory for parental choice in education at the U.S. Supreme Court
ADF attorney David Cortman appeared on the Zeb Bell Show to discuss the victory for parental choice in education at the U.S. Supreme Court. | MP3 audio 11:15 mins
Religion Clause Blog: “AP reports that the compromise reinstates a ban on the District of Columbia using its own local tax funds to pay for abortions for poor women. Also, according to World Magazine, the President agreed to include the SOAR Act as part of the final budget bill. The act reopens the voucher program . . . ”
Heritage Foundation: Friday night, House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) secured a huge win for D.C.’s schoolchildren. In a triumph for low-income families in the nation’s capital, Boehner succeeded in reauthorizing the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP) in the long-term continuing resolution.
Jeremy Tedesco on the Janet Mefferd Show: AZ school tax credits and the victory at the U.S. Supreme Court
ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco appeared on the Janet Mefferd Show with a guest host to discus the Arizona school choice victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. | MP3 audio 16:04 mins
Greg Baylor on KDCR, Conversations with Carl Zylstra: Victory for school choice at the U.S. Supreme Court
ADF attorney Greg Baylor appeared on KDCR, Conversations with Carl Zylstra to discuss this: ADF attorneys win Arizona parental-choice-in-education case. | MP3 audio 21:13 mins
Stop the ACLU: The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) was thrilled to hear the decision. “Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. This ruling empowers parents to do just that,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes. The ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”
NCPA Policy Digest: In recent decades, many calls for transformative change in American schooling have advocated school choice. Yet these calls themselves have too often accepted the orthodoxies of the 19th century schoolhouse. Working with the Walton Family Foundation’s Bruno Manno, Frederick M. Hess, the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, offers a more promising vision for 21st century, choice-centered reform.
Erik Stanley: Supreme Court Limits Ability of ACLU and its Allies to File Lawsuits under the Establishment Clause
ADF attorney Erik Stanley writes at the Speak Up Movement Church Blog: My colleague David Cortmanposted a blog about the recent Supreme Court victory in ACSTO v. Winn. As he points out, there are many great things to celebrate about that case. I thought I would highlight one other positive development from that case . . .
Mercator.net: The high court agreed 5–4 with the arguments of Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against an Arizona program that promotes school choice.
Dave Cortman on the Hugh Hewitt Show: The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Arizona school tuition tax credit case
ADF attorney Dave Cortman appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show to discuss the ruling in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. | MP3 audio 5:55 mins
Jeremy Tedesco on KFYI 550 AM with Mike Broomhead: A closer look at the Arizona school tuition tax credit victory
Candi Cushman at Citizen Link: As it has done many times before, this week the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit, finding that the ACLU’s clients lacked standing to file the lawsuit. “The decision creates a national precedent that will prevent similar legal attacks in the future,” said the Alliance Defense Fund press release. It affirms a key concept underlying most school choice programs—that private donations and the personal choices of families are voluntary and are not the same thing as government-forced religion.
Michael Foust at Baptist Press: Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. This ruling empowers parents to do just that,” David Cortman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, said in a news release. ADF supports the law and represented an STO — the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization — in the case. That particular organization was the main STO party in the case. “Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes,” Cortman said. “The ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”
Huffington Post: The Alliance Defense Fund, which argued for the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, hailed the “national precedent” that will limit similar suits in federal courts. “The court’s reasoning is sound,” said ADF senior counsel David Cortman. “The government does not own 100 percent of every American’s paycheck. The donations are private money, not government money.” Americans United for Separation of Church and State agreed the decision could prevent federal court action on the issue in the future, but vowed to continue the fight in state courts. “This is not a good day for the wall of separation,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “A few more bricks are out of it.”
Christian Post: The Alliance Defense Fund praised the judges’ decision. “The court’s reasoning is sound,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The donations are private money, not government money.”
Ken Klukowski at the Washington Examiner: The tuition organization was represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, which argued that the program doesn’t violate the Establishment Clause because the choice of whether to support a religious school was being made by private citizens, not the government. ADF also argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to file the suit.
NY Sun: [A] huge victory for proponents of parental choice in education” is how today’s news was characterized by the Alliance Defense Fund, a not-for-profit law firm that has played a leading role in the struggle to expand religious liberty. It represented a group called the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, one of more than 50 non-profit 501(c)(3) corporations that ADF said have been set up to distribute private donations in the form of scholarships to more than 27,000 students attending hundreds of private schools at the Grand Canyon State. It’s not just Christians who will benefit from this ruling.
Leader Telegram: The Alliance Defense Fund applauded the ruling and said it sets a “national precedent” that “empowers parents. (They) should be able to choose what’s best for their own children,” said David Cortman, its senior counsel.
Tucson Citizen: “It’s an extremely important decision, not only for all the citizens of Arizona but for the millions of Americans who support school choice,” said David Cortman, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian-oriented religious-rights group that represented the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, which intervened as a third party in the case. “But it’s much more broad than simply the issue of school choice. Any type of tax credit or tax deduction that may happen to benefit religious organizations would also have been suspect had the court accepted the ACLU’s arguments,” Cortman added.
Livingston Daily: David Cortman, an Alliance Defense Fund lawyer who represented a Christian school tuition organization that intervened in support of the Arizona policy, said the ruling “absolutely should embolden legislatures.” He said groups such as his that support “choice” programs would press states to enhance options for parents beyond public schools.
Daily Caller: The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) was thrilled to hear the decision. “Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. This ruling empowers parents to do just that,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes. The ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”
CNA: “Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes,” said Cortman, who serves as Senior Counsel for the defense fund. He said that the American Civil Liberties Union “failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”
One News Now: Cortman says the high court’s decision creates a national precedent that will prevent similar legal attacks in the future. “What’s important in this case is that the ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students across the country — and just as importantly, failed to demonstrate that its clients had any constitutional basis to file suit,” says the ADF attorney.
SCOTUS Blog: The Court pares down, to the absolute minimum, the right of taxpayers to challenge government programs that provide financial aid to religion. Arizona’s tax credit system that benefits parochial students survives a challenge.
Adam Liptak at the NY Times: The plaintiffs’ position, Justice Kennedy wrote, “assumes that income should be treated as if it were government property even if it has not come into the tax collector’s hands.” But, he added, “private bank accounts cannot be equated with the Arizona State Treasury.”
Wall Street Journal (full text via Google): With one more vote, the current Court’s liberal minority would surely ban school choice involving any religious schools. The Arizona decision shows again that the Court is only a single vote away from many decisions not all that far removed from those of the Ninth Circuit.
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a huge victory for proponents of parental choice in education Monday. The high court agreed 5–4 with the arguments of Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against an Arizona program that promotes school choice.
It held that the challengers to an Arizona tax credit which provides tax credits for contributions to tuition organizations, which then use the contributions to provide scholarships for, among others, religious schools, lack standing under Article III because they are challenging a tax credit, rather than government spending.
ACLU: Supreme Court Rules Arizona Taxpayers Lack Standing To Challenge Tax Credit System Used To Fund Religious-Based Scholarships
ACLU: “Unfortunately, today’s decision may encourage state legislatures seeking to subsidize religion without judicial review,” said Paul Bender, a law professor at Arizona State University’s law school and former U.S. Deputy Solicitor General who served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs and argued the case in the Supreme Court.
But the Supreme Court saw through all of that rhetoric and held that the ACLU’s clients have no right to come to court in the first place because they have no legal standing. In simple terms, they have no injury to complain of. The Court agreed with ADF’s argument that the money donated is private money—not the government’s—and that someone else’s donation creates no legal injury to ACLU’s clients.
Liberty Counsel: Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of the Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Parents deserve the right to choose how to educate their children. This program gives parents the rights that everyone should enjoy. It is contrary to our history of liberty that parents should be forced to educate their children in government schools, particularly when some schools doom their children to failure. Parents know best about their children’s well-being and should be given every opportunity to provide a quality education of their choice.”
Center for Arizona Policy: Center for Arizona Policy filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the program, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Christian Legal Society, and several religious liberty organization and scholars
Family Research Council Praises U.S. Supreme Court for Upholding Parents’ Rights, Religious Liberty in Education
FRC applauds the work of its allies the Alliance Defense Fund, Liberty Counsel and the American Association of Christian Schools. We also thank U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), whose 1995 authorship of the Arizona Scholarship Tax Credit legislation while serving in the Arizona legislature set the groundwork for today’s historic ruling.”
AFC: The effort to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision was led by the Institute for Justice and the Alliance Defense Fund
Fox News: “Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. This ruling empowers parents to do just that,” Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David Cortman said in a statement. “The ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”
NCPA Policy Digest: “Parents are the adults closest to children, and, in almost all cases, know their children better than anyone else. Parents pay for public education through mandatory taxes. Most send their children to public schools, attend parent-teacher meetings and encourage their children to do homework. By and large, parents possess the best information about their children.”
Pioneer Press: As they head to a summer trial, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and a metro-area charter school it accuses of promoting religion disagree whether a jury or judge should get the 2-year-old federal case. The ALCU wants a bench trial, in which a judge would decide whether the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy blended public education and religion in violation of the constitution.
The Hill: “Over fierce Democratic opposition, the House on Wednesday approved a bill to reestablish a school-choice voucher system for Washington, D.C., residents.”
Education News: Niche charters in areas with well-performing public schools are taking heat from critics who say they’re unnecessary.
Heritage Foundation Morning Foundry: In the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, children suffer in a public education system rife with violence and ranked among the worst in the nation. Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives took action to give those students some hope when it voted to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (D.C. OSP), which provides scholarships to low-income children, allowing them to attend their school of choice. It was one of the most consequential education votes that Congress will make this year.
Politico: “The House voted 225-195 Wednesday afternoon to allocate $20 million to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships Program, which stopped accepting new students in 2009. The bill will open the program to new applicants.”
HSLDA: Homeschooling in Italy is growing, and a website called Controscuola.it is helping. Run by homeschool mom Erika Di Martino, the tagline on the Controscuola website reads, “Education is compulsory … not school attendance!”
Washington Post: “The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama was “strongly opposed” to a bill reviving and expanding the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, one day before the measure championed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is scheduled for a vote on the House floor. But the White House did not threaten to veto the bill, suggesting that it could still pass as part of a larger compromise on education policy.”
AP: “Unlike other systems that are limited to lower-income households, children with special needs or those in failing schools, this one would be open to a much larger pool of students, including those whose parents earn up to $60,000 a year.”
Jason L. Riley writes at the Wall Street Journal: But the real strength of the AFT, NEA and their state and local affiliates lies in their ability to obstruct. They have been particularly effective at blocking poor people from leaving bad public schools. They offer financial and logistical support to political candidates sympathetic to their agenda of curbing educational options, and they punish elected officials who don’t stay the course. Teachers unions agitate for laws and regulations that ban means-tested voucher programs or cap the number of charter schools that can open in a state. To protect jobs for their members, they fight to keep the worst instructors from being fired and the worst schools from closing. All the while, they insist that their interests are aligned with those of the kids.
The link between the home-school movement and the tea party activists that have reenergized – and at times hijacked – the Republican party is not often made. But it was apparent here that home-schooling parents are a key constituency that is hoping to make a splash in Iowa, as three presidential hopefuls took turns courting the activists.
Yahoo News: “According to the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), allied with the mother’s attorney, the New Hampshire’s Supreme Court has previously stated that American home education is a tradition and a right.”
Baptist Press: Joseph Infranco, senior counsel for ADF, said, “Although we strongly disagree with the court’s decision for this family and do not believe the trial court should have considered religion as it did, we appreciate that the Supreme Court limited its decision to the facts of this case. This decision cannot be used as a battering-ram against religious liberty or homeschooling, and ADF will be vigilant to make sure that it’s not.”
Eugene Volokh: Judicial preference for public school over homeschooling due to “exposure to different points of view”?
Washington Post: “In these dire fiscal times, when even the sacred programs are no longer sacred, Republican leaders have still been able to identify a few that they think deserve more money.”
“The New Hampshire Supreme Court says a lower court acted appropriately in ordering an 11-year-old girl to attend public school after her father claimed his ex-wife’s strict Christian teachings were socially isolating the child.”
The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a lower court order Wednesday that forced a homeschooled student into a government-run school against her mother’s wishes. The court made clear that it was not addressing larger religious liberty and homeschooling concerns and was basing its ruling only on the narrow and specific facts of the case.
MyCentralJersey.com: A comment that she made in her letter, which has been erroneously used so often, by so many, in so many circumstances, is six words in length – “the separation of church and state.” . . . The ACLU has been using it to ban prayer in schools, and at school events, and activist judges have unjustly sided with them. Recently the Alliance Defense Fund and Liberty Counsel have taken legal steps to try and correct this injustice.
From labor to education, unions have been walking in lock-step with the liberal agenda and this administration. We witnessed it with ObamaCare, as unions spent millions endorsing a law that many have since been exempted from. At the National Education Association (NEA), the radical politicking is legendary. The NEA officially supports same-sex “marriage,” abortion, and more recently, kids’ programs on sexual satisfaction. It even has its own Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Caucus. When Planned Parenthood made headlines for supporting child prostitution, Service Employees International Union rushed to the organization’s defense.
The American Federation for Children (AFC) today applauded the advancement of the bill to reauthorize the highly-successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program by a U.S. House of Representatives Committee.
One News Now: “Members of a U.S. House subcommittee have heard testimony from students and parents urging them to reauthorize the school voucher program in the nation’s capital.”
n 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. Why would one of the best new teachers in the state be one of the first let go? Because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority.
Charlotte Observer: “A rewritten proposal for eliminating the charter school cap would limit how quickly the state could add new schools and would no longer require that traditional schools hand over their booster club money to charters.”
One News Now: Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) legal counsel Roger Kiska tells OneNewsNow that the German school system has made it mandatory for nine- and ten-year-olds to participate in the programs, including an interactive play. “The purpose of the play, they say, is to prevent abuse,” says Kiska, “but what they’re teaching is that if it feels good, do it.” [more quotes by Roger]
Educationnews.org: “This article on the growing influence of Islam on American charter schools will appear in the forthcoming “Islam in Scholarship and Education” issue of Academic Questions.”
Freedom from Religion Foundation: If enacted, Walker’s voucher proposals would ultimately destroy the dream of our common schools — secular public education in Wisconsin,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, who, with Dan Barker, co-directs the national state/church watchdog, based in Madison, Wis.
ADF attorney David Cortman writes in the Washington Times: How many U.S. Supreme Court cases risk eliminating a child’s ability to get a quality education with completely private dollars? Not many, but if a case that will be decided by that court any day now goes the wrong way, that’s precisely what it will mean for many children – and for no good reason. | ADF Media Resource Page
With Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker attempting to rein in the unbalanced power of government unions, and given the fierce stranglehold that union members have on their ever-increasing taxpayer-provided benefits, now is a crucial time for Americans to understand the difference between private-sector and public-sector unions. Collective bargaining in the private sphere—where companies face competition—is a world away from collective bargaining in government—which faces no competition, and where unions have a legal monopoly. Heritage Foundation labor expert James Sherk explains why it is time to restore voter control over elected government, and how it can be done.
The American Spectator: “One would think that Alabama, a state in which teachers unions don’t have the power to force school districts into collective bargaining, would be a bastion of school reform. But within the past year or so, the National Education Association’s Cotton State affiliate has shown there’s more to wielding influence than sitting at negotiating tables.”