Heartland Institute Experts React to Dismissal of
Nevada Education Savings Account Lawsuit
On Wednesday, Clark County judge Eric Johnson dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to reverse a 2015 law enacting education savings accounts in Nevada. This is one of two lawsuits filed by the ACLU to stop education savings accounts in Nevada, claiming they violate a law known as a Blaine Amendment, which prohibits tax money from being used for religious purposes.
The following statements from education experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact New Media Specialist Donald Kendal at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.
“The dismissal of this case is a victory for the children of Nevada. They are one step closer to the education freedom they deserve, which allows parents to choose the education opportunity that meets their child’s specific needs.”
“This judge’s decision is in line with long-standing nationwide precedent in various federal and state courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. It is not only ridiculous but discriminatory for states to bar funding from nonprofit organizations and others simply because of a philosophical affiliation.
“State and federal health care programs do not discriminate against religiously affiliated hospitals and other care providers; state and local school choice programs shouldn’t, either. It’s a very simple issue.
“The only reason it is not is because some Americans want to deny others their rights to free expression and free association, and because other Americans believe they should continue to control school policies even when parents prefer other arrangements.”
“This is great news for Nevada families. ESAs give parents near-total control over the education of their children and are purposefully designed to make sure they do not run afoul of the stupid, bigoted Blaine Amendments that are unfortunately on the books in too many states and, even more unfortunately, are defended by the American Civil Liberties Union. Judge Johnson came to the correct conclusion.”
“This ruling is a great step forward for Nevada school choice. The ACLU – which after all has an ‘L’ in its name standing for ‘liberties’ – has been prevented from taking a liberty away from parents and students who choose to attend a school that is best for them.”
“It is always a good day when a judge thwarts an attempt by the ACLU to use an ugly remnant of nineteenth century bigotry still embedded in many state constitutions – the anti-Catholic Blaine Amendment – to deny children and their parents a choice of the best possible schools for them.
“So even though it may eventually be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if freedom of choice or bigotry shall prevail, hooray to Clark County Judge Eric Johnson! Long live the education savings account as a mechanism for parents to select the educational services their children most need.”
The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.