On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that taxpayer money could be used to buy computers and other instructional aids for private and parochial schools. This was a victory that the Catholic League shared with others: Gerard Bradley and Robert George, both of whom serve on our board of advisors, filed an amicus brief on behalf of the league in this important case, Mitchell v. Helms.
Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the majority decision, emphasized that the exclusion of parochial schools from aid programs is rooted in 19th century anti-Catholicism. Such exclusion, he said, “born of bigotry, should be buried now.”
The brief by Bradley and George took issue with previous court rulings in this area and sought to dispel many myths regarding Catholic schools. In doing so, they offered a trenchant Catholic analysis of recent jurisprudence on the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
In a news release on this subject, the Catholic League also took note of other issues that touched this case:
“It is the hope of the Catholic League that those who favor school vouchers will use this decision to promote school choice. Then we can finally end this class warfare of making the poor pay for schools they expressly reject while the Bill Clintons and Jesse Jacksons of this world can afford to bypass such schools altogether.”
We are grateful for the pro-bono contributions of Bradley and George.