The Truth Is A Lot Sunnier On The Voucher Ruling Than Esquire Magazine Believes

Here’s what the nauseatingly-liberal Esquire Magazine had to say about yesterday’s news that the Louisiana Supreme Court had struck down the funding mechanism for the Louisiana school voucher program as unconstitutional…

Something there is about “Bobby” Jindal, the soon-to-be-discarded hunk of presidential timber now serving as the governor of Louisiana, that the Supreme Court of his state doesn’t like very much. This gives the Supreme Court Of Louisiana something in common with the rest of the country, which decided long ago that it doesn’t much care what the smart money says, “Bobby” Jindal is a guy who has to be secured to the floor of his office every morning lest he float off in the general direction of the Algiers docks.

And boom, as the kidz say, goes the dynamite.

The writer, one Charles P. Pierce, goes further…

You can’t use public money to support religious schools. Period. It is the most preposterously obvious violation of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment this side of the outright attempt by the newly insane state of North Carolina to establish Christianity as an official religion. Not only that, but the court also slaps “Bobby” around for the finagling that was necessary to get the preposterously obvious violation through the legislature in the first place.

(And that’s not even to get into the fact that the Tennessee legislature recently killed its own bill to use public money to finance religious schools when it wass discovered that this meant public money might also go to Muslim schools. Aieeeee! Mr. Madison had your number, boyos.)

And then closes his piece with this nugget…

Can you be a has-been before you ever were someone? I suspect we will be finding that out about “Bobby” very soon.

We posted this in the comments, because it was too important not to…

This piece might not be total dogshit if Pierce actually knew what was in the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Of course, he doesn’t – which obviously didn’t stop him from showing his ignorance.

What the Louisiana Supreme Court actually said was that the funding mechanism for the school voucher program – the Minimum Foundation Program – was constitutionally inappropriate because the MFP is rather specific in stating its funds must go to public schools and not a substitute therefor.

It was a dumb tactical mistake to push the voucher program as a public school substitute through the MFP, particularly since there has been a voucher program in New Orleans for several years which is funded through the state’s general fund. And that dumb tactical mistake is a decent indication of something Pierce is actually correct about, which is that Jindal and his staff aren’t ready for national prime-time. That said, the Supreme Court upheld the voucher program in its own right. The Supreme Court did not invalidate the concept of a school voucher, which through parental choice there might be “public money to support religious schools.”

In short, the voucher program IS constitutional. It merely needs a different funding source. Which it will shortly have, as the legislature is currently in session.

This is not particularly difficult information to ascertain. It merely requires the slightest amount of due diligence on Pierce’s part to recognize the distinction. That he didn’t even make it to that meager level indicates that he’s no better at his job than Jindal is at his, and maybe Pierce might consider that fact before he mouths off about something else he has zero clue about.

We stand behind the comment. We might have to more or less copy and paste it in a number of places, because the lefty blogosphere is just getting cranked up.

The fact is, assuming the Legislature funds the voucher program from the general fund Jindal and the school choice lobby can claim victory in this case. The American Federation for Children put it well

“Vouchers remain constitutional and we encourage the Legislature and Governor to act quickly to resolve the funding issue caused by today’s ruling,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel for the American Federation of Children. “Louisiana’s Scholarship Program has received support from nearly 93 percent of parents who have children enrolled in the program and currently more than 8,000 children are depending on legislative leaders to support Louisiana’s popular school choice program.”

survey by the Black Alliance for Educational Options and the Louisiana Federation for Children disclosed that nearly 93 percentof the parents of scholarship students were very satisfied with the program while nearly 94 percent of parents are very satisfied with academic programs available to their children.

“We’re disappointed in the Court’s ruling, but we are both optimistic and committed to seeing a legislative solution, as well as confident in knowing that the litigation process has deemed the voucher program constitutional,” added Chavous.

Don’t look for that message to come through to the Charles P. Pierces of the world. And when a bill is passed to fund the vouchers through the general fund you’ll search long and hard for Pierce’s Esquire article about that.

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