Wailings and warnings: Pundits tell us that the conservative coalition will split apart as the battle over homosexuality drives a wedge between liberty-seekers and morality-demanders. Maybe, but more unites us than divides us, and the April report of the Institute for Justice (IJ), a libertarian public interest law firm, shows that.
One article reported that the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld a county scholarship program designed to “provide greater educational choice for students and parents to meet individualized student needs.” The pilot program allows 500 children to attend private schools whether religious or non-religious. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), of course, filed a lawsuit to kill the program, but IJ intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of three families.
Another article concerned a New Hampshire business tax credit program that started on Jan. 1. It encourages donations to nonprofit groups that give scholarships to low-income families. The money can go for homeschooling costs, private school tuition, or tuition for public schools outside the students’ school districts. The ACLU and AUSCS oppose this, of course, and allege that the program is “compelled support for religion”—but tell that to Shalimar and Miguel Encarnacion, who want the best for their children Angelica (in remission after a year of chemotherapy and radiation for Hodgkin’s lymphoma) and Miguel.
That case is still up for grabs, but IJ is showing the basis for overcoming conservative coalition fissures: Fight for parental rights to do what’s best for children. Oppose liberal government and interest group pressure. (For an interview with IJ President Chip Mellor, see “Regulation slayer,” from the March 9 issue of WORLD Magazine.)