Cleveland Vouchers go to the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on whether Cleveland can help children in low-income families pay tuition at private religious schools. Slate.com notes that it "may well be the biggest case of the term. Not only will it affect education policy in the many states contemplating vouchers, but it will also signal the court's openness to President Bush's proposed faith-based charities policy." Other papers are saying it's even bigger, comparing it to Brown v. Board of Education. With such importance, just about every major paper in the country has the story. The New York Times offers great detail, with many quotes from the justices and lawyers. "The court was engaged and extremely attentive as five lawyers, three for Ohio and two for the voucher opponents, made their case in an 80-minute argument, a rare departure from the court's one-hour standard," writes Linda Greenhouse. "A sweeping decision that would settle the future of such programs appeared unlikely."
The decision (expected by July) may not be all that sweeping, but it will certainly be a huge victory to whichever side of the voucher debate wins. So which way will it go? "All eyes were on Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was seen as holding the deciding vote because of her position in the center of the court on church-state issues," writes Greenhouse. "She gave little away, pressing both sides and expressing some skepticism about the answers she received."
An editorial in the Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer, warns against prognostications: "Judging from their comments and records, it's safe to guess that certain justices—such as William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia—will support Ohio's voucher program. But handicapping ...1
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