Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thomas Gets It

Its a recurring theme, but it bears repeating. To force generations of kids to attend failing public schools in urban America is an outrage. A moral outrage.

I shout it from the stoop as often as I can. Liberals want to keep these kids right where they are. Stuck in an educational hellhole with no way out.

You think they would ever send their own kids to Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn? We all know the answer to that one.

But you know who gets it? Clarence Thomas gets it. Below is a excerpt from his concurrence in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris in which liberals challenged the constitutionality of Cleveland's voucher program.

To liberals, when a municipality gives a kid tuition to go to Catholic school you are doing great harm. Their argument: It violates the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment.

The argument was shot down by the Supreme Court which rightly decided that the purpose of the voucher was to provide a child a decent education, not to promote or establish a religion.

Remember this: for the left, the government giving a kid a voucher to get a decent education is an outrage, but letting a kid stay in a failing public school is perfectly acceptable.

Justice Thomas:

Frederick Douglass once said that "[e]ducation ... means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free." Today many of our inner-city public schools deny emancipation to urban minority students. Despite this Court's observation nearly 50 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education, that "it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education," urban children have been forced into a system that continually fails them. These cases present an example of such failures. Besieged by escalating financial problems and declining academic achievement, the Cleveland City School District was in the midst of an academic emergency when Ohio enacted its scholarship program.

The dissents and respondents wish to invoke the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as incorporated through the Fourteenth, to constrain a State's neutral efforts to provide greater educational opportunity for underprivileged minority students. Today's decision properly upholds the program as constitutional, and I join it in full.

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