IJ Asks Supreme Court to Review Cleveland Case


IJ Asks Supreme Court to Review Cleveland Case

One step away.

A goal toward which the Institute for Justice has been working every day of its first 10 years may finally come to fruition if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to review the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit striking down Cleveland’s school choice program.

On May 24, IJ filed its petition for a writ of certiorari asking the High Court to hear the case.  Although the Court has turned down opportunities to review school choice rulings in Wisconsin, Arizona and Maine, three compelling facts about the Cleveland case give us grounds for optimism:  equity, law and procedure, as explained below.



If the Court refuses to review the case, 4,000 low-income children will be forced to leave the only good schools they’ve ever attended and return to a school system that two years ago satisfied zero of 27 state performance criteria.


Not only does a split in authority over the constitutionality of school choice exist nationally—the situation in which the court is most likely to grant review—but a split exists between the Ohio Supreme Court and the 6th Circuit over the constitutionality of this program.  Only the Supreme Court can resolve that conflict.


In November 1999, when the Supreme Court dissolved the trial court’s injunction against the program, one of its criteria for intervening was whether it would ultimately review the case on the merits.  So we have a snapshot of the Court’s intentions.

Having filed our petition, we are letting no moss grow,   working to coordinate support for the cause of school choice in the court and the court of public opinion. 

A final decision lifting the constitutional cloud could be less than a year away.  With hard work, passion, and resolve, we hope to help   deliver on the promise of educational opportunity and parental choice.




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