OU Disappointed but not Surprised by Court Ruling on School Vouchers in Cleveland

Posted on December 21, 1999 In Press Releases

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, through its Institute for Public Affairs, expressed its disappointment with a
ruling by an Ohio federal judge finally declaring Cleveland’s school voucher program unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause. In his
ruling today, Judge Solomon Oliver made permanent his injunction rendered against the voucher program issued earlier this summer and
entered a summary judgment ruling declaring the program unconstitutional. Upon consent of the parties to the case, the Judge stayed his order pending review buy the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Oliver based his determination of the voucher program’s invalidity, primarily upon the assertion that students who wished to use
their vouchers at secular private schools rather than parochial schools had few, if any, alternatives. The Judge’s reading of Supreme Court
precedents also prompted him to take a narrow view of how state funds might ultimately be used to assist parents of parochial school students.

OU Institute for Public Affairs director Nathan Diament stated in the wake of the court ruling that “Judge Oliver gave us an unmistakable
impression of his views on this issue last summer when he sought to enjoin Cleveland schoolchildren from using their vouchers this year; a
decision that was, thankfully, overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Oliver has now finalized his reasoning in today’s opinion which we
will now see reviewed by the appellate court. We expect that court to reverse Judge Oliver and hold that the Establishment Clause does not
outlaw the state from empowering parents to educate their children at whatever kind of school they choose – public, private or parochial.”