DOE has already acknowledged that the voucher program cannot be evaluated this year in the manner required by Congress
The vast majority of the voucher schools are religious schools, as to which there are serious concerns regarding government-funded discrimination on the basis of disability and religion, as well as religious coercion; also, DOE and WSF have failed to give voucher schools adequate guidance on applicable civil rights laws
The Archdiocese of Washington apparently would not give final agreement to participate in the voucher program until it received assurance from DOE that it could raise tuition for new students
The Florida Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 today to uphold a lower court decision striking down the country’s first state-wide voucher program. The Court affirmed the lower court ruling that the Florida voucher law violated the “no aid” clause of the state constitution providing that public funds cannot be used to aid sectarian institutions.
The California Supreme Court today invalidated the marriages of more than 4,000 same-sex couples, ruling that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom lacked the authority under state law to allow such marriages. The Court did not rule on whether the state’s prohibition on marriage for gay and lesbian couples violates the state constitution, the position taken by Mayor Newsom and the city. That issue is being litigated in other cases still working their way through the courts.
One Step Forward; One Step Back
In the same week, a Washington state court ruled in favor of marriage rights for same-sex couples in accordance with the state constitution, while Missouri voters approved an amendment to their constitution to ban recognition of such marriages. The mixed results reflect the give and take that can be expected in the short run as the nation moves toward full equality for gay and lesbian Americans.
The U.S. House of Representatives today vote 233-194 to pass the so-called “Marriage Protection Act,” legislation that would effectively bar an entire class of citizens from asking the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights.
Contact your representative and tell him or her that challenges to federal laws should be heard in federal courts. Remind your representative that the federal courts exist to protect a person’s rights from government abuse, and that any attempts to restrict those rights are unwise and likely unconstitutional. Urge your representative to oppose court-stripping and the so-called “Marriage Protection Act.” Sign up for our newsletters and action alerts and we’ll keep you updated on new developments concerning this issue.
The “Marriage Protection Act” scheduled for a vote on Thursday in the House of Representatives would effectively bar an entire class of citizens from asking the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights. People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas strongly urged members of the House of Representatives to reject the bill.