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Supreme Court sets arguments in school voucher case

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The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments Nov. 21 over whether the state’s school voucher program is unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs – 12 Indiana residents including educators, clergy and parents of children in public and private schools – filed the lawsuit in July 2011 challenging the Choice Scholarship Program enacted last year. The program gives scholarships, commonly referred to as vouchers, to students whose families meet financial guidelines to attend public or private schools in other districts that charge transfer tuition.

Currently, the number of scholarships that can be awarded is capped, but next year, there will be no limits on the number that may be awarded. Once fully implemented, nearly 60 percent of all Indiana schoolchildren will be legally entitled to receive a scholarship upon application.

The plaintiffs claimed the law violates the General and Uniform System of Common Schools Clause of Article 8, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution as well as Article 1, sections 4 and 6 because students can use the state-funded vouchers to attend religious schools.

Marion Superior Judge Michael Keele denied their request for a preliminary injunction and in January granted summary judgment for defendants Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana Superintendent Dr. Tony Bennett and two defendant intervenors, Heather Coffy and Monica Poindexter. Coffy and Poindexter are parents who want to use the voucher program to pay for part of their children’s tuition at private schools.

Numerous educational groups and schools have joined in the suit, including the Indiana School Boards Association, Evansville Christian School, Marian University and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

 The justices announced the November oral argument on Wednesday. The case is Teresa Meredith, et al. v. Mitch Daniels, et al., 49S00-1203-PL-172.


 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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