Patterico's Pontifications

6/22/2022

In a Blow for Religious Freedom, the Supreme Court Appears to Strike Down Blaine Amendments

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:25 am



[guest post by JVW]

At long last:

The First Amendment never uses the term “separation of church and state.” It instead contains two religion clauses: one that prevents Congress (or, since the 14th Amendment, the states) from passing any law establishing a state church or “respecting” such an establishment; and the other protecting the free exercise of religion from government prohibitions. A myth has grown up around Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 phrase “wall of separation” that treats religion, not as a thing the government cannot mandate or regulate, but as a kind of kryptonite the government must avoid any contact with even if it means separation of religious people and institutions from equal participation in what the state provides. That is not what the establishment clause was understood to mean in 1791, and today, the Supreme Court went further: It concluded that discrimination of that sort violates the free-exercise clause.

This morning’s 6–3 Supreme Court decision in Carson v. Makin, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, is a huge victory for the freedom of religious parents to educate their children in the school of their choice on the same terms as non-religious parents. Maine long ago established a school-choice program in order to resolve the tension between its state constitutional requirement of a publicly funded education and the reality that much of Maine is too rural to support a school in every town: As Roberts noted, “of Maine’s 260 school administrative units (SAUs), fewer than half operate a public secondary school of their own.”

So, the state established a tuition-assistance program — basically, tuition vouchers — for parents in districts without a school of their own. They could use those vouchers at a secular school, or a religious school — until 1981, when Maine passed a statute barring any “sectarian” school from the program. It did so explicitly in response to the Supreme Court’s “separation of church and state” line of cases that began in the late 1940s and reached a crescendo with 1971’s Lemon v. Kurtzman. The 1981 statute required that students attend “a nonsectarian school in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution” and “was enacted in response to an opinion by the Maine attorney general taking the position that public funding of private religious schools violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”

Blaine Amendments are named for former Speaker of the House and Senator (and 1884 GOP Presidential nominee) James G. Blaine of Maine, who while serving as Speaker in 1875 proposed a Constitutional Amendment which would have prohibited individual states from establishing a state religion and from using public dollars to fund religious schools. The proposed Amendment did not garner enough votes in the Senate for passage, but several states began the process of writing their own constitutional amendments to curtail the influence of religion and to deny public funding for parochial schools. Mr. McLaughlin argues that Blaine Amendments had been effectively hollowed out by the 2020 Court decision in Espinoza vs. Montana Department of Revenue, but though I defer to his more learned legal analysis it would seem to me that today’s ruling, in which the Court affirmed that a state legislature or the public via referendum can choose to allow public money to be used as tuition vouchers to religious schools, emphatically serves as the final nail in the coffin for Blaine Amendments.

Unsurprisingly, the Court’s left can’t let go of the “separation of Church and State nonsense that they have been pushing ever since Jefferson was electing to sleep in on Sunday mornings. As Dan McLaughlin reports:

Nonetheless, the myth of a “wall of separation” that requires discrimination against religious schooling persists, even among people who ought to know better. Justice Sonia Sotomayor complained in her dissent today:

This Court continues to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build. . . . In 2017, I feared that the Court was leading us to a place where separation of church and state is a constitutional slogan, not a constitutional commitment. Today, the Court leads us to a place where separation of church and state becomes a constitutional violation. If a State cannot offer subsidies to its citizens without being required to fund religious exercise, any State that values its historic antiestablishment interests more than this Court does will have to curtail the support it offers to its citizens.

Well, yes: Both “separation of church and state” and “wall of separation” are, in fact, slogans rather than constitutional commitments. Allowing students to take state aid to a religious school on the same terms as a secular school does not establish a church, any more than allowing them to use Pell Grants at a religious college or, for that matter, allowing people to buy Bibles with their Social Security checks, establishes a state church. As Roberts summarized: “The State pays tuition for certain students at private schools—so long as the schools are not religious. That is discrimination against religion.”

This decision doesn’t require states to fund school choice programs or provide funding to religious schools, but it does decree that a state can no longer discriminate against religious schools if the state provides funding to non-religious private schools. And now at long last the matter is in the hands of the legislature and the public, rather than being preempted by bigoted ideas from nearly a century and a half ago. This decision also undermines the Court’s decision in Lemon, in which the Burger Court attempted to place strict limits on the degree to which government could provide support to religious schools and the students who attend them. Mr. McLaughlin points out that it’s notable that neither today’s majority opinion nor the dissents cite the Lemon case, hopefully leaving it a dead issue from here on in.

– JVW

127 Responses to “In a Blow for Religious Freedom, the Supreme Court Appears to Strike Down Blaine Amendments”

  1. When I lived in Massachusetts years ago, the Blaine Amendment there was so awful that a court ruled that religious schools could no longer access a state-funded program which paid for student museum admissions for school trips. In response, Governor Weld proposed that the legislature repeal the Blaine Amendment, but between the anti-Catholic sentiments of the hard left and the power of the public school cartel in the Bay State the legislature unsurprisingly declined.

    JVW (020d31)

  2. Ed Whelan covers today’s decision here and adds some great points:

    First, contrary to some extravagant rhetoric in the dissents, the ruling in no way requires states to adopt voucher programs or other programs of tuition assistance. As the Chief explicitly states:

    As we held in Espinoza, a “State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

    Instead of its tuition-assistance program, Maine could choose to “expand the reach of its public school system, increase the availability of transportation, provide some combination of tutoring, remote learning, and partial attendance, or even operate boarding schools of its own.”

    Second, the Court’s ruling will have Maine’s tuition-assistance program operating as it did before 1981. Maine was hardly a hotbed of theocracy before then, so there is no reason to expect the Court’s decision to make it one. The fact that eligible schools must be accredited or approved cuts short the parade of horribles that some are trotting out.

    Third, on what conceivable basis can the dissenters think it’s okay for state bureaucrats to rule that some religious schools are nonsectarian while others are not? (As the Chief pointed out in his majority opinion in Espinoza, the term sectarian has a “checkered tradition” as a code for bigotry against Catholics.)

    JVW (020d31)

  3. This seems rightly decided. I suspect I’ll end up regretting it though since this will be used as an argument against vouchers and for lower quality public-only systems.

    frosty (6844fa)

  4. I suspect I’ll end up regretting it though since this will be used as an argument against vouchers and for lower quality public-only systems.

    That could be. But it’s up to supporters of religious schools to (1) ensure that the education they deliver is of the highest quality and (2) convince the legislator and the voter that they are worthy of the voucher program. Here’s hoping they are up to the task.

    JVW (020d31)

  5. The Blaine amendments were ironic on their face — they purported to be about separation of church and state, but the reality was that public schools of that era were deeply imbued with Protestant belief. Both Catholic and Jewish communities wanted their own schools, and the Blaine amendments prevented those schools from receiving public support. Thereby establishing Protestantism as the state’s preferred belief.

    Note that James Blaine was virulently anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant, so this was not really an unintended consequence.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  6. Sotomayor is a bot.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  7. “Nonsectarian” meant, in 1875 and as late as the 1950s, being open to any Protestant faith.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  8. this will be used as an argument against vouchers

    They’ll use anything. In Colorado a while back, the teachers union used the threat of black and brown people coming into lily-white private schools.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  9. As a gay taoist (who was agnostic as a teenager) who would *absolutely* have been utterly miserable in a religious private school, the fact that a state choosing to fund any private school means it can’t choose not to fund religious schools will basically keep me from voting for *any* sort of public funding of private schools, for the rest of my life.

    Probably not the intended outcome of this decision, but it’s certainly the way I and more or less my entire social community will vote — anything else creates a situation where we’re being taxed for the purpose of paying for religious indoctrination.

    This is likely the correct answer constitutionally — i wrote a paper in undergrad about how in the context of public schools, free exercise and disestablishment are incompatible — but it means that I’d prefer to close the door to *any* state support of private schooling.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  10. Mr M wrote:

    this will be used as an argument against vouchers

    They’ll use anything. In Colorado a while back, the teachers union used the threat of black and brown people coming into lily-white private schools.

    When we lived in Delaware, our daughters attended parochial school. Now, they had been in parochial school before we got to the First State, but it was practically mandatory in New Castle County. Why? Upon getting hit with a mandatory integration and forced busing order from a federal judge, the good people of New Castle County practically destroyed the public schools. Oh, the public schools still existed, but there was massive flight away from them, and private schools, both religiously affiliated and otherwise, grew quickly, and, let me tell the brutal truth here, only the kids whose parents couldn’t afford private schools were left in the public system.

    Of course, various referenda to raise money for the public schools failed, because who wants to pay more in taxes for a public school system you can’t use?

    There were plenty of black kids in the private schools, or at least the parochial schools with which I was familiar. But parents chose paying tuition to have their kids attend a private school which might not be in their neighborhoods, but which were going to be consistent throughout school.

    The parochial schools were packed, and had waiting lists as well.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (91f7af)

  11. aphrael wrote:

    This is likely the correct answer constitutionally — i wrote a paper in undergrad about how in the context of public schools, free exercise and disestablishment are incompatible — but it means that I’d prefer to close the door to *any* state support of private schooling.

    Is this any real change from how you viewed the matter before?

    The private schools exist because the public schools have been on a downward slide toward failure for decades now. Other than those desiring a specific religious education for their children, who would want to pay out good money for a private school if the public schools were just as good? I s’pose that people with money to burn would, but that’s really not that big a population.

    It hurt writing out tuition and transportation checks, but we did it anyway. When our older daughter finished public elementary school in a decent school, she was going to be assigned to Lois Spratley Middle School in Hampton, Virginia. Spratley had the highest number of in-school incidents reported to the police, so no, we weren’t going to send her there! We figured that we might as well go ahead and send our younger daughter to St Mary Star of the Sea School as well. They liked it, not the least because occasionally ducks would wander into the buildings.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (91f7af)

  12. It was the end of May of 2003, and there was a ‘family day’ at the end of school. One of the parents there was a public school teacher at one of the Pocono West schools, and she complained that she was less teaching than simply managing her classes, because handicapped students, including mentally handicapped students, were ‘mainstreamed’ through classes. The able-minded students were not getting the education they needed because she had to constantly repeat lessons for those who were mentally slow.

    This is something with which private schools do not have to deal.

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (91f7af)

  13. aphrael wrote:

    As a gay taoist (who was agnostic as a teenager) who would *absolutely* have been utterly miserable in a religious private school

    Are you sure? At least in the parochial schools with which I have experience, there was a single religion class during the day, but the other classes were pretty much your standard ones; there’s not much of a religious component in math!

    Of course, there were the school uniforms . . . .

    The libertarian, but not Libertarian, Dana (91f7af)

  14. . . . the fact that a state choosing to fund any private school means it can’t choose not to fund religious schools will basically keep me from voting for *any* sort of public funding of private schools, for the rest of my life.

    It’s interesting. I know there are plenty of people who feel like you do for a variety of reasons — some people object in principle to religious education, some people object in principle to funding private education. But there are also lots of people who are less and less inclined to agree to throw more money on public education (I’ve blogged about it now and again). So perhaps we will come to that point where something’s gotta give: either we commit ourselves to improving our public schools or else we allow taxpayers to take their tax dollars to the private system. Maybe the Great Compromise here will be to remove public education from the clutches of credentialed bureaucrats, the activists from academia, and the teachers’ unions in return for more money, more autonomy, and more accountability for results. But that would almost be too logical, wouldn’t it?

    JVW (020d31)

  15. This is likely the correct answer constitutionally — i wrote a paper in undergrad about how in the context of public schools, free exercise and disestablishment are incompatible — but it means that I’d prefer to close the door to *any* state support of private schooling.

    This is little different than the 1875 system of Protestant schools, except that the Establishment is along different lines. Dogma is dogma, and the moral instruction in the secular schools that you want to see as Established is no less dogmatic than what you’d find in a Catholic school.

    It’s just more to your liking.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  16. A better alternative: No government-run schools. A wall of separation between School and State. All children get a voucher and go to the privately-operated school that makes most sense to their parents.

    Many would choose a school that looks almost identical to the public school (perhaps better run). Others would not. Not too interested in arguments about how “society” needs kids educated a certain way, because for some of us that “certain way” is toxic.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  17. It’s kind of funny though. When I was in public grammar school in the early 60s, we frequently had prayer and lessons based on the Christian Bible. I’m told that some parents sent their kids to secular (or Jewish or Catholic) private schools to avoid this.

    I wonder if those who today decry public funding of private schools would maintain that position if religion once again entered into the public schools.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  18. BTW, does anyone know how many religious schools will become part of the Maine program? My understanding of this is that it’s only a few and that most students take their voucher to nearby public schools outside their tax jurisdiction.

    Baby, bathwater.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  19. > A wall of separation between School and State. All children get a voucher and go to the privately-operated school that makes most sense to their parents.

    this would force atheist / agnostic families, or families with relatively minority religious beliefs, but who live in areas with low population, to send their kids to receive religious instruction in religions they disbelieve in — for lack of alternatives given their relative minority position.

    it’s a great plan if your goal is to force everyone’s kids (outside of dense urban areas) to join the local majority religion. it’s a terrible plan, otherwise.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  20. It’s the precedent that’s important.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  21. 19. That’s the drawback. But to say this you have to say that forbidding this increases choices and allowing this program could remove choices. In a broad sense it might be true sometimes.

    In general, this would satisfy more people.

    And furthermore, if no school they like was available in the area they could use an online school. Which works and works well provided the school has actually been set up to work that way. There are places where there is only a public school, good or bad.

    In Uvalde, Texas, there is public school and I think some kind of Catholic school

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  22. this would force atheist / agnostic families, or families with relatively minority religious beliefs, but who live in areas with low population, to send their kids to receive religious instruction in religions they disbelieve in

    And without tis, you’d get more choices or different kinds of schools?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  23. I wonder if those who today decry public funding of private schools would maintain that position if religion once again entered into the public schools.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 6/22/2022 @ 1:28 pm

    I think you’ve already answered your question. Religion never left the public schools. The specific religion was changed and the people complaining simply swapped. It used to be that the left complained and the right was fine and the middle didn’t care.

    So, yes, if the religion changed, or as you say once again entered, towards something associated with the right then the left would complain.

    frosty (6844fa)

  24. There is an argument that government shouldn’t even be in the education business. Where in the Constitution are schools mentioned?

    Let’s back it up and get some perspective. How did parents educate their children 250 years ago? It wasn’t the government. Local citizens got together and hired a teacher. A completely private transaction. They weren’t taxed to pay for schooling.

    Somewhere along the way somebody got the brilliant idea that a government monopoly could do it better. It worked okay for a while, but then schools became top-heavy, unionized, and bureaucratic, which is what happens to almost all government programs.

    On top of that, society in general and parenting in specific took a turn for the worse. Both parents starting working outside the home, while at the same time over-indulging their children, and taking their side whenever a teacher wanted to discipline them. How many lawsuits are filed against the schools by these horrible parents? Is it any wonder that teachers have to manage their classrooms instead of teach?

    Instead of looking at this as “public money going to private schools”, why not go back to the way it was before? Get government out of the education business, and abolish the taxes that pay for it. It’s not a voucher. It’s refraining from taxing people for education in the first place.

    Parents will then have to get their act together when it comes to dealing with private schools, who won’t put up with their bullshit.

    My mother was a public school teacher. She could talk for hours on why schools are bad, including how a principal went behind her back to change a student’s grade to placate unreasonable parents.

    Guess where she sent me and my siblings? That’s right. Private schools.

    norcal (da5491)

  25. Great. I’m in the comment moderation pokey after writing a lengthy contribution.

    I found it and released it. Note thought that you did use a word which gets comments automatically sent to moderation. – JVW

    norcal (da5491)

  26. A better alternative: No government-run schools. A wall of separation between School and State. All children get a voucher and go to the privately-operated school that makes most sense to their parents.

    I’m sympathetic to this argument, but what I fear would happen is that the system would quickly devolve into schools geared towards specific interests. Naturally you would have sports schools to which all of the best athletes would gravitate, but then you would also have performance arts schools, art schools, trade schools, religious schools, posh schools, racial/ethnic grievance schools, and so on. In some ways this wouldn’t be bad; there’s an argument to be made for the fact that kids should find schools which suit their own talents and passions.

    But it would wreck the idea of neighborhood schools as well as exposing children to different types of people and different activities. I would feel awful for the kid whose parents see her as a future basketball star and thus enroll her in the basketball school starting in first grade, only to have the kid end up hating the sport and refusing to play by the time she finishes eighth grade. Or the kid who attends the art-focused school only to realize that he isn’t really that talented as a painter, but far too late for him to have steered his interests somewhere else.

    Maybe the answer is to have generic public schools from kindergarten through fifth or even eighth grade, then open up the voucher system so that kids can choose a high school which comports to their interests. At least they will have had several years to figure it all out by then.

    JVW (020d31)

  27. > And without tis, you’d get more choices or different kinds of schools?

    In a world where there are state funded secular schools available to *all*, then it’s possible to send a kid to a school and have the school not indoctrinate them in an alien/hostile religion, yes.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  28. aphrael (4c4719) — 6/22/2022 @ 2:24 pm

    I see no reason why the market would not provide a secular school if demand were great enough. The religious community banded together to get it done. Why can’t a secular community do the same? Is there a great headwind, unique to the secular, that I am missing?

    felipe (484255)

  29. I found it and released it. Note thought that you did use a word which gets comments automatically sent to moderation. – JVW

    Forgive me, but as a recovering Mormon I just have to swear once in a while. 😛

    norcal (da5491)

  30. @26 JVW (020d31) — 6/22/2022 @ 2:52 pm

    I actually would love such a system as that.

    To your concerns, the state is still funding the vouchers, so conceivably states can institute testing standards that applies to all of the private institutions.

    The fact that you can “shop” year-to-year is a net plus, imo. That addresses when the child’s interests/skills changes.

    whembly (7e0293)

  31. this would force atheist / agnostic families, or families with relatively minority religious beliefs, but who live in areas with low population, to send their kids to receive religious instruction in religions they disbelieve in — for lack of alternatives given their relative minority position.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 6/22/2022 @ 2:24 pm

    The assumption here is that enabling vouchers would destroy public schools and also leave only schools that focused on religious instruction. Neither of these are valid assumptions.

    The alternative is to continue to put money into under-performing public systems. Would it be better to allow atheists a choice of schools were they can weigh for themselves the relative strengths of various schools or give everyone the one bad choice?

    frosty (6844fa)

  32. I agree with Kevin that government should not be running schools anymore than they should be running healthcare. I agree with regulation, but not running the show and spending the money.

    We need only look at the state of the VA as a parallel to the state of public schools today. I am not saying that the paradigm should shift instantly, but very slowly over time.

    This SCOTUS decision may serve to magnify the voice of every community.

    felipe (484255)

  33. The fact that you can “shop” year-to-year is a net plus, imo. That addresses when the child’s interests/skills changes.
    whembly (7e0293) — 6/22/2022 @ 2:58 pm

    I agree.

    felipe (484255)

  34. norcal (da5491) — 6/22/2022 @ 2:48 pm

    Very good points.

    felipe (484255)

  35. JVW (020d31) — 6/22/2022 @ 2:52 pm

    I’m not that worried about this. I live in a county with enough people to do this to the public school system and also try this with private schools. There are a number of specialized public schools but it just hasn’t created that sort of diversity.

    In order to have certain programs a schools has to be a certain size. There’s also an issue of transportation, etc. That creates a natural limit in most cases. I’ve seen schools that tried this just dry up because class sizes were to small and the gender mix wasn’t right.

    frosty (6844fa)

  36. it’s a great plan if your goal is to force everyone’s kids (outside of dense urban areas) to join the local majority religion. it’s a terrible plan, otherwise.

    But, aphrael, you are blind to what I’m saying. Your “secular” schools may teach moral values that I abhor. That there is no “god” involved does not make the moral instruction any less dogmatic.

    Your argument against choice is basically this: “Choice might require me to make a choice I don’t like. Instead, I’d take away everyone’s choice since I like the default!”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  37. Which is really no different than James G Blaine’s insistence on a Protestant school system.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  38. Instead of looking at this as “public money going to private schools”, why not go back to the way it was before? Get government out of the education business, and abolish the taxes that pay for it. It’s not a voucher. It’s refraining from taxing people for education in the first place.

    There is a point to public education. Even for poor kids. I’m more at “How?” not “If?”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  39. aphrael (4c4719) — 6/22/2022 @ 2:24 pm

    Forgive the clumsy manner of my previous comment. You are absolutely correct in what you say, It is your very concern that animated so many families in similar situations to take matters into their own hands.

    There a few needs (as opposed to wants) that are more important than the education of a parent’s children. I have always been an advocate of parental rights. Parents in similar situations that you describe made it their choice to simply home-school their children.

    What better way for a parent to be involved with the nurturing and passing on of values that that? How much easier will it be you to be able to home-school your children than previous families who had no financial recourse to public funds.

    I can speak for all parents when I say that almost no sacrifice is too large to make for one’s children. How much easier will it be now? Now that All parents, secular and religious, can petition their government to return the money they currently hold to the very people who are the most interested on their child’s education?

    This decision is of great benefit to you, too.

    felipe (484255)

  40. In a Blow to Be-Robed Bureaucrat Credibility, the Supreme Court Appears to be ‘Wholly’ Unable To Trackdown The Leaker.

    FIFY.

    Pay no attention to these paper-jockeys. If they can’t keep track of their own paperwork they sure as hell aren’t qualified to manage the lives of 333 million people:

    “…He can’t even run his own life; He can’t even run his own life;
    I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoGxz7Tsmxo

    Bring on The Dancing Alitos!

    DCSCA (71b099)

  41. aphrael,

    I note that you see “secular” schools as being devoid of “religion.” I don’t. But then I’m not a particularly religious person.

    What I see “religious” instruction as doing is promulgating a set of moral and ethical values based on the culture of that religious group. The actual religious instruction — the creation myth, the nature of God, etc — is separate from that. And I suspect it’s not the part that you object to anyway.

    My problem is that the so-called “secular” instruction, while avoiding the God-subject, still has plenty of the moral and ethical instruction, and this is often delivered with as much dogmatic assertion as any bleeding deacon could muster. To me, this IS ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION pure and simple. God isn’t required.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  42. Please, let’s not “pile-on” aphreal. I only see a parent expressing a valid concern for his child. I don’t see an opponent.

    felipe (484255)

  43. The Blaine amendments were an attempt to force all children into Protestant public schools. The “majoritarian religion” as aphrael calls it. Jewish families, Catholic families had to choose between the “free” public schools (that they were taxed for) and parallel private schools run by their religion.

    Note that it was not a choice of religious schools or secular schools, but WHICH religious schools. In an age where “No Irish need apply.”

    It’s really ironic that these same Blaine amendments are then used to defend a monopoly for secular humanist schools, where parents are dissenting for almost identical reasons as in 1875.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  44. I don’t mean to be piling on. Sorry if it seems that way. I just cannot see how you get state-run schools without running up against the establishment clause.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  45. if it’s a religious school that doesn’t pay taxes it don’t need no taxpayer freebees.

    Where’s the leaker; flush ’em out, “Johnny.”

    DCSCA (71b099)

  46. Very good points.

    felipe (484255) — 6/22/2022 @ 3:15 pm

    Thank you, felipe!

    norcal (da5491)

  47. if it’s a religious school that doesn’t pay taxes it don’t need no taxpayer freebees.

    And just how does the public school system pay taxes, pray tell?

    JVW (020d31)

  48. @47 Ahaha!

    norcal (da5491)

  49. What is to stop a specific religion from creating an online school that charges tuition and advertises heavily in rural counties that don’t have easily accessible school systems whereby they become the primary school for that area and so what you have in effect is a state that has created a state sponsored program for a specific religious indoctrination in that area? Doesn’t that violate the constitution? Or is it enough that it’s theoretically possible for parents to choose some other online school, even if the effect is that parents primarily choose this specific one that the state now pays for?

    Nic (896fdf)

  50. @47- If a religious school affiliaged w/a church don’t pay taxes, it don’t need no taxpayer freebees. Pretty straight forward. Public schools, fine.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  51. Find the leaker. Johnny.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  52. > The assumption here is that enabling vouchers would destroy public schools

    Nonsense.

    I am *specifically responding* to a comment which said:

    > > A wall of separation between School and State. All children get a voucher and go to the privately-operated school that makes most sense to their parents.

    I was saying that, given the premise that we should abolish public schools and only have private schools paid for by state vouchers, certain things follow.

    It’s not that i’m assuming enabling vouchers would destroy public schools. I’m saying that if you start with the presumption that we abolish the public schools, certain things are implied by that.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  53. > How much easier will it be you to be able to home-school your children than previous families who had no financial recourse to public funds.

    a voucher is not enough for a single parent with multiple children to home school those kids — the kids have to eat and have shelter, too, which means their single parent needs to work.

    your scenario is probably great for families with two parents who can survive on one income and where the other parent is willing and *qualified* to be involved in their kids’ education in that way. that no longer covers a majority of kids, and hasn’t for a long time, now.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  54. If a religious school affiliaged w/a church don’t pay taxes, it don’t need no taxpayer freebees. Pretty straight forward. Public schools, fine.

    Not straightforward at all, unless you want to argue that public education somehow serves a higher public value than private education. Or else you could argue that the government should be taxing everything even remotely school-related, which would include ticket sales from high school athletic contests, revenue from cafeteria lunches, the educational foundations which are set up to support schools, money raised by the carwash that the student council holds as a fund-raiser, and so on.

    JVW (020d31)

  55. > Why can’t a secular community do the same?

    i’m speaking specifically of secular parents, or minority religion parents, in *low population density areas*. we can get good secular private schools in the bay area. or good buddhist ones. but it’s hard to do this in, say, twin falls — because there aren’t enough others to band together and pay the salary of the school.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  56. > How did parents educate their children 250 years ago?

    The Northwest Ordinance specifically called for the allocation of lots for the construction of public schools paid for by local government treasuries.

    Schools paid for by the *local* government are an old, old technology and were deeply embedded in the American experience through most of our history.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  57. > Your argument against choice is basically this: “Choice might require me to make a choice I don’t like. Instead, I’d take away everyone’s choice since I like the default!”

    No, it’s more “the choice offered is an illusion and not a real choice, and actually exists to hide the fact that it forces people to indoctrinate their kids into other people’s religion — which is just fine with the people who believe everyone should be indoctrinated into that religion.”

    aphrael (4c4719)

  58. aphrael, do you assert that the public schools do not have a belief system they instill? One that some parents do not want their children indoctrinated into?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  59. Home schooling is idiots teaching imbeciles. The best damn education I ever had was in Britain; no distractions, no extracurricular crap like parking lots full of cars, weekly football games and other stupid stuff. We had superb teachers. You go to German class, the textbook was 100% German; you only spoke German. Utter English- you’d be told to leave class. ‘Vacations’ w/travel at dirt cheap costs and we used the same textbooks- some even better- as in U.S. schools to be accredited for college entry and we’d get through the entire books each year while in the states they’d be lucky to get through half.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  60. Let’s take religion out of it entirely.

    Suppose that some parents are non-religious libertarians. Their local public school teaches communitarian values and does so dogmatically, calling anything else selfish and evil. Little Johnny is forced to write “I will share with people” 1000 times on the blackboard.

    Their only alternative would be to pay extra for a private school. Luckily, they are libertarians so they aren’t completely upset, but they are still being taxed for something that is anathema to them.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  61. Not straightforward at all, unless you want to argue that public education somehow serves a higher public value than private education.

    Sure it is: religious schools affiliated w/churches which do not pay taxes get no taxpayer freebees. Pretty straight forward. Public school in the U.S. is what it is and financed by the tax base. My private school education in Britain wasn’t financed by British taxpayers– and it was more costly but not affiliated w/any religion… except that Benevolent God we worshipped and paid for it: BIG OIL.

    =aside= Do love that evil, greasy, money grubbing Big Oil, Joey!

    DCSCA (71b099)

  62. Schools paid for by the *local* government are an old, old technology and were deeply embedded in the American experience through most of our history.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 6/22/2022 @ 4:15 pm

    Yes, but schools paid for by a gathering of local citizens on a voluntary basis are even older.

    The Northwest Ordinance was less than 250 years ago.

    Why not give it a try (getting government out of the education business)? We can always go back to the lame status quo if it doesn’t work.

    Government monopolies are wasteful, Procrustean, and poor at delivering services compared to the private sector.

    norcal (da5491)

  63. DCSCA (71b099) — 6/22/2022 @ 4:20 pm

    I’d rather a child be taught by an idiot who loved them, than a stranger.

    felipe (484255)

  64. @63. You might get an argument on that from the teachers in Uvalde, felipe- but then, they’re dead.

    My VR friend in there in town today.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  65. The best damn education I ever had was in Britain

    DCSCA (71b099) — 6/22/2022 @ 4:20 pm

    Holy denigration of Britain, Batman!

    norcal (da5491)

  66. I see a new ecumenicalism. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and pagans united to get their states to pass school vouchers since they now will be entitled to a piece of the pie, if not united in anything else.

    nk (f0797a)

  67. @65. No comic book TV Batman, norcal.

    Monty Python’s Flying Circus, first run.

    Funny. And smart.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  68. No, it’s more “the choice offered is an illusion and not a real choice, and actually exists to hide the fact that it forces people to indoctrinate their kids into other people’s religion — which is just fine with the people who believe everyone should be indoctrinated into that religion.”

    Wait. Are you saying that, in any given community, if people are give a free choice between a religious and a non-religious education, they will choose the religious one? That if there is a solid majority in favor or a particular sect, that everyone will be force to go to that school?

    Because I think that is a pretty cramped analysis. In my experience most people (and certainly most kids) prefer a non-religious education, although they may have preferences within the secular sphere. The current Maine system involves multiple secular choices. I don’t see that disappearing because someone wants to set up a Christian academy. I just don’t see the religious groundswell that you do.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  69. felipe,

    (a) thank you for encouraging people not to pile on.

    (b) in this case, i don’t feel piled on. 🙂 i’ve been here since the beginning of time, know most of the regulars, and so feel like this is a respectful disagreement among very old friends. as one of the liberal regulars, there are going to be times where i express things that a rounding error of everyone disagrees with — and as long as it’s friendly and respectful and polite and kind, that’s part of the value of me being here, both for me and for the people i’m talking to; we have to think outside our boxes.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  70. > Home schooling is idiots teaching imbeciles.

    this varies heavily from case to case. i know some homeschooled kids for whom i would agree with that. i know others for whom that is clearly not true.

    one big problem with homeschooling from a *liberal* perspective is that in practice homeschooling isn’t open to everyone — so state subsidies for homeschooling helps transfer resources to those who are already better off financially (because homeschooling is a *possibility* in a way that it could never have been for my mother) and reduces the available resources for educating those who were less well off to begin with.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  71. aphrael,

    I really appreciate your presence here, even when I disagree with you.

    norcal (da5491)

  72. @DCSCA@59 and @felipe@63 Many parent who have the time and willingness and if their student is an average or above learner, could probably teach the standard curriculum for K-6. Those parents could probably teach the English and history curriculum for grades 7 and 8. They mostly cannot teach math or science above grade 6. They could probably teach English all the way up and with good curriculum support and if they studies up ahead of time, maybe history all the way up (but not econ). Math and science, no.

    However, one of the things we learned in Covid is that even when someone else is providing the instruction, most parent either don’t have the time or don’t have the interest in having their kids at home and definitely don’t have one or more of time, inclinations, or ability to help.

    Nic (896fdf)

  73. @70- The unevenness of it you mention says it all.

    It’s just not pragmatic for a top-tier 21st century superpower to maintain competitiveness.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  74. > aphrael, do you assert that the public schools do not have a belief system they instill? One that some parents do not want their children indoctrinated into?

    i am not asserting that. i am avoiding engaging with that question because it’s complicated and i’m multitasking. 🙂

    i see at least two different levels of concern.

    [a] do schools teach actual religious doctrine — transubstantiation, earth is only 4000 years old and everything that implies that it’s older is a trick of the devil, evolution isn’t real, etc? nothing in this set of things should be publically funded. this isn’t what you’re thinking about or what you’re focused on, but it is *very hard* to design a program which allows public spending on religious schools which doesn’t allow this, it’s very common for certain segments of the population to want this kind of teaching in school, and the supreme court basically just made it illegal to refuse to fund this if you’re funding any sort of private school.

    this is a *real*, *serious* problem.

    [b] your concern is more about the teaching of moral values. and this is interesting, because “ensuring that immigrant kids learn the same moral values that the population already has” was one of the primary drivers of the formal institutionalization of public education during the gilded age. from their inception, the modern American public schools were *at least in part* about inculcating what were believed to be shared values.

    part of the problem is that it’s impossible to teach without inculcating certain values — how do you think about and approach issues, how do you analyze facts and compare and contrast evidence, what information do you accept and what information do you discount, all of these are value decisions.

    but then there are harder questions. what do you do when you have a creative writing exercise and a kid writes a story about a gay faerie? whether you view that as a legitimate creative writing exercise or view it as bad and indicative that the kid needs to unlearn things and learn different things … is a value decision.

    so what happens when on a lot of issues we no longer have shared values? ideally you strip the value decisions made in the schools down to the barest minimum, but that’s harder than it looks — and that’s ultimately what the whole fight about trans kids using bathrooms, or firing teachers for acknowledging that a kindergartner has two dads and that it’s not ok for another kindergartner to tease them about that — is: a lot of things that we used to believe were societally shared values are clearly not societally shared values *now*, and as a society we haven’t agreed on how to handle that.

    education is a microcosm of society, in that way.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  75. The biggest block to school vouchers will not be that some unpopular religious group will now get them too. It will remain what has always been the biggest block — teachers’ unions. They can swing a mayoral or aldermanic election and elect themselves a raise, more benefits, and fewer working hours. But they cannot elect a bishop or church council and they will be on the same keel as any other private employees’ union in labor negotiations. Ungood.

    nk (f0797a)

  76. It’s just not pragmatic for a top-tier 21st century superpower to maintain competitiveness.

    DCSCA (71b099) — 6/22/2022 @ 4:53 pm

    Then how about some competition in the school system?

    norcal (da5491)

  77. > Are you saying that, in any given community, if people are give a free choice between a religious and a non-religious education, they will choose the religious one? That if there is a solid majority in favor or a particular sect, that everyone will be force to go to that school?

    I’m saying that in a town where there are a hundred school kids within reasonable driving distance, there isn’t sufficient population to support multiple different schools, and so everyone will *in effect* be forced into the school preferred by the majority — which, if it’s an option, will often and regularly be deeply sectarian religious schools.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  78. @72. Nic- However, one of the things we learned in Covid is that even when someone else is providing the instruction, most parent either don’t have the time or don’t have the interest in having their kids at home and definitely don’t have one or more of time, inclinations, or ability to help.

    So a solution is to hire a tutor -which is clearly out of the financial range of most middle and lower class families. You’d know best but the ideal class size is about 15 may 20 students which in public school is a mere dream. Private school, it’s a reality and from personsal experience, a great motivator to learn. And the socialization/interaction is part of the education process, too. But what seems surprising to me is the poor performance of online teaching via gthe web to individuals from remote classrooms. Doesn’t appear to be as promising as it once was- and Covid was a great test bed for it.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  79. @76. You have that. But it’s a two-way street. If your student base would rather gang around South Philly rather than attend Benjamin Franklin High there are other metric in play.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  80. @nk@75 The reality is that generally speaking, teacher hiring ratios are somewhere between 1 teacher to 25 students and 1 teacher to 35 students. With a general average of 2 children to a family of two parents, that’s less than 1 teacher per 50 people in the community (because the elderly don’t have school age kids) so teachers are less than 2% of the population. That might slightly tip a very close election, but it isn’t enough to block even a slightly popular issue that the union disagrees with.

    @DCSCA@78 You get better results for group and interactive instruction classes with class sizes of 20-25. Classes between 10-20 may (or may not, depending) have incremental improvements, but the next significant improvement is for individual instruction in classes with 10 or fewer students. One concern I have about e-learning of all kinds is that people retain about 20% less information from things they read off of an electronic device rather than hard-copy, but nobody (including our school systems) seems to really care much about that, or maybe they’ve decided the cost exchange is worth it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  81. @80.One concern I have about e-learning of all kinds is that people retain about 20% less information from things they read off of an electronic device rather than hard-copy, but nobody (including our school systems) seems to really care much about that, or maybe they’ve decided the cost exchange is worth it.

    Wonder why that is–tactile feel of book/paper versus a backlit screen… physical presence of a teacher… some other comfort element… that’s a significant low-retention figure for sure considering how much we depend on screened info today.

    DCSCA (71b099)

  82. The Chicago Teachers Union has some 25,000 members. In the 2019 mayoral election, Lori Lightfoot came in first in the first round with about 8,000 votes over the second place winner, the two of who went on to the runoff (the rest of the field being eliminated).

    nk (f0797a)

  83. The thing is that parents want to send their kids to schools where the other kids are like their kids. It’s better for them to have some choice with vouchers, rather than the circumstances that chose the neighborhood in which they live.

    nk (f0797a)

  84. Sure it is: religious schools affiliated w/churches which do not pay taxes get no taxpayer freebees.

    This is a common misconception. I have a friend who is aggressively anti-religion, and he believes that churches are entirely tax-exempt too. But guess what? Churches pay the payroll tax on their salaried clergy, office workers, teachers, and pretty much anybody who qualifies as an employee. My church operates a small gift shop, and I am charged the Los Angeles County/City of Redondo Beach sales tax whenever I make a purchase there. Churches themselves pay sales tax on whatever taxable items they purchase for their own use. And when my parish owned a condominium off-site from our church grounds, where we housed two nuns who were assigned to us, I’m pretty sure we paid property taxes on it and then paid all of the applicable real estate taxes when we sold it.

    So you’re going to be consistent here and say that private universities like Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, etc. who do not pay property taxes shouldn’t be allowed to enroll Pell Grant students, let alone be given the billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded research grants that they receive every year. Right?

    JVW (020d31)

  85. @DCSCA@81 It’s hard to tell. It might even just be human visual processing. There are probably ways to increase information retention for material presented electronically, but it’s new enough that we are still in the process of figuring it out.

    Nic (896fdf)

  86. @nk@82 It looks like abt 550,000 people voted in that election. If all 25,000 members of the teacher’s union voted (and it’s almost 100% certain that not all of them did and of those that did, a not-insignificant number voted for someone the union didn’t recommend), that’s only 4.5% of votes cast. And I would say that in an election where 550,000 people voted, 8 thousand votes is a very close election.

    Nic (896fdf)

  87. A 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization is a nonprofit organization established exclusively for one of the following purposes: charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, or preventing cruelty to children or animals.

    Most states and localities mirror at least “charitable, religious, and educational” for their local tax exemptions, which means to say that schools are tax exempt to begin with, whether religious or not.

    nk (f0797a)

  88. This is a common misconception.

    It’s pretty straight forward and certainly not anti-religious. No pay taxes, no get tax freebees. Sure there’s salaries and services taxed- common stuff; but also special breaks, too– zoning and assorted discounts/exemptions, etc. Seems quite fair- and not fair to public schools denied the need of the same funding. So pass the plate on Sundays– and have more bake sales.

    _________

    @85. Yeah, it’s an interesting area to explore– it must be some visual element, though television classes for art and travel and so forth seem to be retained fairly well. What about radio/audio retention? Audio books seem to be very well received and even back in the day, in the 1960s, the audio labs in middle school for language classes- lots of tapes played as I recall- [8 years of frigging French] seemed to work very well- not to mention the success of the record and taped Berlitz language franchise.

    DCSCA (695703)

  89. Nic @86. That’s Chicago politics.

    nk (f0797a)

  90. [b] your concern is more about the teaching of moral values. and this is interesting, because “ensuring that immigrant kids learn the same moral values that the population already has” was one of the primary drivers of the formal institutionalization of public education during the gilded age. from their inception, the modern American public schools were *at least in part* about inculcating what were believed to be shared values.

    And, in particular, people like Blaine wanted that to be a Protestant education. They considered the Irish, Italians, Spanish, Poles and other Catholic immigrant groups to be in need of a corrective education. Exactly the type of majoritarian indoctrination you are concerned about. Never mind the Jews. As for those eastern religions, well, they just banned immigration from; problem solved.there.

    There are core ideas that need to be gotten across: reading, writing, math. History, civics. Acceptable behavior. But these do not require one-size-fits-all. Nor do they require one source of instruction, something that invariably attracts just those people who should not be teaching children. It’s not just the Creationists who worry me.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  91. @DCSCA@88 audio books work best if a student also has a hardcopy to follow along with, but that may be an attention issue as much as anything else. It’s too easy for your brain to wander off and just let the sound wash over you if you don’t have the visual as well, even if you are trying to pay attention.

    Nic (896fdf)

  92. @Kevin@90 “these do not require one-size-fits-all”

    It depends on how cost effective you want education to be. It’s a relatively common comment in education that every kid could use an IEP (an IEP is an Individual Education Plan, which is the plan for kids who need special ed.) because they are meant to try to meet the specific educational needs a that kid and every kid could benefit that. You can’t meet all the very specific needs of every student in a classroom of 30-35 students to one teacher, though, so instead the teacher is meeting most of the needs of most of the students most of the time and then trying to intervene individually when they see an apparent need. If you could get the class sizes under ten, you could be fairly individual, but nobody wants to pay for that.

    Nic (896fdf)

  93. DCSCA (695703) — 6/22/2022 @ 5:58 pm

    So you’re going to ignore my question about whether Pell Grants and federal research grants should go to private universities who don’t pay taxes?

    JVW (020d31)

  94. The GI bill has let people decide where to spend their benefit wherever they want.
    I realize that in this case its the parents that will choose on education and values, but it is the same thought process. What is the best fit for me? Or what is the best fit for my child

    steveg (9125a5)

  95. You can’t meet all the very specific needs of every student in a classroom of 30-35 students to one teacher, though, so instead the teacher is meeting most of the needs of most of the students most of the time and then trying to intervene individually when they see an apparent need.

    Oh, I understand that. I was always that one kid. The better teachers found a way for me to work on my own rather than have to sit as the class struggled through the reading about Pippi and her goat. Some social deficits from that though.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  96. I wonder how this affects scholarships. I remember getting a CA state scholarship for any public of private CA college. I suspect that a seminary would have been excluded. Would it be excluded now?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  97. @kevin@95 Yup, I had that problem too. Sigh.

    Nic (896fdf)

  98. @93. What’s to ignore- the 1950s are over and we can’t afford the freebees– the $ goes to Ukraine and Xerox paper for absent-minded SCOTUS judges. Let the private sector finance research; ROI is a great prioritizer; Pell Grants- terminate them. Federal research grants; table them unless for a specified program directly related to national defense.NASA is a R&D operatrion; better they get the $ than Harvard. Though MIT and NASA are better wired. 😉 We don’t need nor have the money to waste on snail darter mating rituals and such. $$$$ for Ukraine, you know.

    DCSCA (64a009)

  99. Get government out of the education business, and abolish the taxes that pay for it. It’s not a voucher. It’s refraining from taxing people for education in the first place.

    i guess at some point society decided kids need to be educated so that they can be gainfully employed

    so they can be taxed for their entire working lives to pay the retirement benefits of those who don’t like paying school taxes and who aren’t their parents

    JF (58a5eb)

  100. i guess at some point society decided kids need to be educated so that they can be gainfully employed

    Yes, but that doesn’t mean the government has to do it.

    norcal (da5491)

  101. =Aside- for those who don’t remember him, Claiborne Pell is the name sake for Pell Grants.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claiborne_Pell

    And if you ever heard his rich, smooth voice, it sounded like a 50 year old Scotch poured from a 100 year old Tiffany decanter.

    DCSCA (c17a3f)

  102. Yes, but that doesn’t mean the government has to do it.

    I was once a libertarian. But then I realized that there are something we have to do together and “government” is the way we do them. But I’m not at all clear why we need a government bus company. Did you know they have competing subway lines in Japan?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  103. I was once a libertarian. But then I realized that there are something we have to do together and “government” is the way we do them.

    I agree, and those things are spelled out in the Constitution.
    Schools aren’t mentioned.

    norcal (da5491)

  104. > I agree, and those things are spelled out in the Constitution.

    so no *state* should be doing anything which isn’t spelled out in the *federal* constitution?

    california’s constitution quite clearly spells out that education is one of the things the state should be doing. many other states have similar constitutional provisions.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  105. @norcal Generally education law isn’t federal, it’s state. Federal influence over education tends to come via funding or withholding funding (or sideways through rights that are designated in the constitution).

    Nic (896fdf)

  106. @104 States are free to choose government to deliver education if they want to. I’m just saying that isn’t necessarily wise.

    I would love to see a state or two experiment, and let parents arrange education for their own children without being taxed for it.

    norcal (da5491)

  107. The problem with public schooling isn’t the fact that the government is running it. It’s a problem of scale. The Industrial Revolution, mass immigration, and the labor wars that resulted in child labor laws necessitated a system where children could be contained while their father, and sometimes their mother as well, was at work. The system, based primarily on the Prussian model, provided a standardized educational model for a society where such things were becoming an increasingly common part of American life. Besides the 3 Rs, they also received instruction in Americanism and civics so that they could become patriotic citizens. This is why radical social movements actually tried to create their own proprietary educational systems outside the public schools, until the New Left realized they could subvert the existing system from within and replace it with one that could indoctrinate students in all the US’s shortcomings, increasing social alienation and creating a hostile left-wing vanguard from the bottom-up.

    Prior to this period, yes, generally the community pooled its money to pay a teacher to teach their kids the basics–enough so that they wouldn’t be a total drain on society and hopefully be a productive member of it later on, typically in some ag or mechanical trade. The intelligent ones typically went in to law, business, or local politics, but only the elites usually had access to go to college (which was the impetus for establishing the land-grant universities, the first real attempt to try and democratize college education). The Industrial Revolution demanded a new model of schooling that really didn’t become fully entrenched until around World War I.

    In the real world, going back to the community model like what was present in the early-mid 1800s just isn’t going to happen, not with the idea that getting a college degree is the be-all and end-all of having a good life, even though in reality colleges are far too democratized as they are, producing too many elites for too few elite jobs. There needs to be a mass de-scaling at the socio-economic level to restore this type of model, and since that’s not possible without a huge social and population collapse a la the western Roman empire, the IR model is what we’re stuck with. Can it be reformed? I doubt it, given the trajectory the country has been on for the last 50 years.

    Factory Working Orphan (d9d02e)

  108. In the real world, going back to the community model like what was present in the early-mid 1800s just isn’t going to happen

    A man can dream, can’t he?

    norcal (da5491)

  109. @105: Largely all that the federal D.Ed did was require massive state bureaucracies to interface with it.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  110. so no *state* should be doing anything which isn’t spelled out in the *federal* constitution?

    aphrael has it right here. Education is not a federal task, it’s a state thing. CA has some fairly robust provisions regarding school funding in its constitution and statutes. Some of those are via initiative which limits what the legislature can do to change them.

    The federal bureaucracy was justified by disparities among the states. I think a lot of it was mistaken, but there were reasons. It’s not at all clear to me that the federal role has been positive.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  111. The supreme court is pushing against corporate establishment wimp liberal democrats along with their allies in republican party. They are going to push them right off a cliff and the left will take over the democrat party. Senile joe and the democrat corporate establishment is all that is protecting the court and republican party from the left.

    asset (481626)

  112. Voting republican in Arkansas will get ones kid castersated.
    Republican voters beware. The republicans in office are democrats.

    mg (8cbc69)

  113. We should repeal the 17th amendment, go back to as it was intended, senators as ambassadors of each state.

    mg (8cbc69)

  114. this would force atheist / agnostic families, or families with relatively minority religious beliefs, but who live in areas with low population, to send their kids to receive religious instruction in religions they disbelieve in — for lack of alternatives given their relative minority position.

    it’s a great plan if your goal is to force everyone’s kids (outside of dense urban areas) to join the local majority religion. it’s a terrible plan, otherwise.

    aphrael (4c4719) — 6/22/2022 @ 2:24 pm

    You mean exactly what poor Christian families have to do when they send their kids to public schools where the teachers are openly hostile to Christianity and call it a fairy tale, anti-science, etc??

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  115. DCSCA (695703) — 6/22/2022 @ 5:58 pm

    When a voucher is given to a private citizen, that money is no longer tax payer money. It is now private citizen money. When the law restricts a private citizens ability to use that money, in its voucher form, there needs to be a good reason. Until this SCOTUS decision, “religion” was used as that reason. Now this reason is no longer “good.”

    When I give alms to a beggar, it carries no strings on how that person may use it. To do so would simply be an exercise in power. The government can’t help themselves in exercising its power in this way, often to the tune of those who, themselves, are envious of that power.

    Churches, do pay taxes just as others have laid out already. They are only exempt from certain taxes, not all taxes. One huge tax that churches pay is the fica tax withheld from non-clergy employees. one half of all sums paid into social security comes from the pocket of churches on behalf of these employees.

    But wait, it gets better!

    [ahem] Death and taxes, man, death and taxes.

    =mike drop=

    felipe (484255)

  116. Yeah, I’m not very good at this “mike drop” thing cause I think it hit my foot….Or maybe DCSCA stepped on it.

    felipe (484255)

  117. And don’t get me started on CRT, 27 genders and all the other indoctrination going on in schools that has nothing to do with an education, but everything to do with molding minds into the leftist culture that is the anthesis of a Christian belief system.

    NJRob (57cf0e)

  118. Education is futile striving. The Real is Unknowable. A child will learn to live in harmony with Creation through his cycles of existence if it is his karma, and if not, not.

    nk (03433c)

  119. nk (03433c) — 6/23/2022 @ 7:02 am

    That was quite the fortune cookie, sir!

    felipe (484255)

  120. Held:
    New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.

    NEW YORK STATE RIFLE & PISTOL ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL. v. BRUEN, SUPERINTENDENT OF NEW YORK STATE POLICE, ET AL.
    Happy now, felipe?

    nk (03433c)

  121. The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self defense is not “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 780 (plurality opinion). We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self defense.

    New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

    And bye-bye to the other five states’ and DC’s “may issue” schemes, too, I venture. As well as any contemplated insurance requirement (read the whole opinion).

    nk (03433c)

  122. nk (03433c) — 6/23/2022 @ 7:44 am

    Thank you! May I have another?

    felipe (484255)

  123. When a voucher is given to a private citizen, that money is no longer tax payer money. It is now private citizen money.

    ROFLMAO. A check is a voucher; and sourcing matters. Ask Ken Dahlberg.

    DCSCA (e61075)

  124. Glad to have provided you a cause for laughter.

    felipe (484255)

  125. Yeah, I’m not very good at this “mike drop” thing cause I think it hit my foot….Or maybe DCSCA stepped on it.

    felipe (484255) — 6/23/2022 @ 6:12 am

    Felipe, I have begun to appreciate why others, including our host, consider you such a gem.

    norcal (da5491)

  126. Its a blow for competition.

    Our local scholls are considered in the top half of the state of CA and upon graduation from high school 44% of students test at or above their grade level.
    The other 56% test below grade level and no one wants to tell anyone the details on how low that goes, which leads me to think clarity on these details would = embarrassment.
    Supporters of the public schools were quick to note that in the last 4 years those numbers are up from 42% and got nasty to anyone who felt those numbers were underwhelming.
    It is also verboten to mention where hispanic students are within that spectrum in this context, but those same idiots will use worst case numbers which are evidently OK to use when asking for more resources.
    Biggest winner here will be the Catholic Schools. Many Mexican families here dream about sending their children to Catholic schools and they’ll go Evangelical before Public.
    Its not just hispanics either, the Vietnamese here already go to great lengths and sacrifice to send their kids to religious private schools as do Russians, Ukrainians and even Chinese

    steveg (dfd475)

  127. ‘YOU Take YOUR Seat’: Biden’s Notecard Has Step-By-Step Instructions For Everything, Like Walking Into Room And Sitting Down

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/you-take-your-seat-bidens-notecard-has-step-by-step-instructions-for-everything-like-walking-into-room-and-sitting-down

    OH MY GOD. This is the most powerful person on Earth?

    25TH AMENDMENT TIME:

    Thanks to a Getty Image of the incident, readers can see that the text reads as follows:

    Offshore Wind Drop-By Sequence of Events

    -YOU enter the Roosevelt Room and say hello to participants
    -YOU take YOUR seat
    -Press enters
    -YOU give brief comments (Minutes)
    -Press departs
    -YOU ask Liz Shuler AFL-CIO President a question
    -Note: Liz is joining virtually.
    -YOU thank participants.
    -You depart.

    DCSCA (7e69c6)


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