Professor William Pryor’s letter published June 12 used several historical quotes to bolster his contention that voucher programs that permit students to attend private and/or religious schools are banned by the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. He states it is important to recall Jefferson’s strong views on “the separation of church and state” while the subject of vouchers and their possible aid to religion “is being debated” (present tense).
To this debate I would like to add another quote: “In keeping with an unbroken line of decisions rejecting challenges to similar programs, we hold that the program does not offend the Establishment Clause.” The quote is from a U.S. Supreme Court decision 11 years ago, Zelman v. Harris 536 U.S. 639, which upheld Ohio’s school voucher program against this spurious challenge. This aspect of the voucher debate is over [as a Constitutional matter], a point I made on these pages five years ago, but it still amazes me how the “separation of church and state” zealots just won’t let it go
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