IJ’s Bolick Takes Helm at School Choice Alliance

Published July 1, 2004

Clint Bolick, who as vice president and cofounder of the Institute for Justice (IJ) was instrumental in establishing the public interest law firm as the nation’s preeminent defender of school choice programs, assumed a new role in April when he became president and general counsel of the newly formed School Choice Alliance and its companion organization, School Choice Advocates.

The new organizations will complement the legal defense work of IJ with efforts aimed at expanding parental choice across the nation by organizing grassroots support and securing passage of new school choice programs.

At IJ, Bolick’s efforts to advance school choice, economic liberty, private property rights, and free speech made him one of the country’s leading advocates for individual liberty. The most notable of these often long, drawn-out efforts was Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002), where the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld the constitutionality of the school voucher program in Cleveland.

Bolick will continue to be affiliated with IJ as its counsel for strategic litigation. He also will appear of counsel on IJ’s school choice cases, although he will not be involved in litigating.

“This is a huge opportunity not only for Clint, but for the school choice movement,” said IJ President and General Counsel Chip Mellor, who cofounded the organization with Bolick. “IJ and Clint will continue to work closely together, school choice parents and children get an impassioned and articulate voice to champion their cause, and Clint gets to dedicate himself full-time to an issue he helped put on the map.”

Bolick’s two new organizations, which will be located in Phoenix, Arizona, result from the merger of three other well-known school choice organizations: the American Education Reform Council (AERC) and American Education Reform Foundation (AERF), based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Children First America (CFA), based in Austin, Texas.

“I am enormously proud of what the Institute for Justice has become and accomplished over the past dozen years, and in awe of its boundless potential for the future,” said Bolick. “Every moment of my association with it has been an honor and a delight; particularly the opportunity to work with such extraordinary people as my partner Chip Mellor, my colleagues, our clients, our directors, and our supporters. I look forward to celebrating many more victories for freedom in the coming years.”

George A. Clowes is managing editor of School Reform News. His email address is [email protected].

For more information …

contact the Alliance for School Choice, 5080 North 40th Street #375, Phoenix, AZ 85018; phone 602/468-0900; fax 602/468-0920; email [email protected]. Or visit the group’s Web site at http://www.allianceforschoolchoice.org.