U.S. Supreme Court Grants Stay Of Cleveland School Choice Injunction

John Kramer
John Kramer · November 5, 1999

Washington, D.C.-The U.S. Supreme Court today granted a stay of an injunction against the Cleveland school choice program. On August 24, only 18 hours before many public and private schools were to open, federal judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. had granted an injunction to halt the Pilot Project Scholarship Program, a four-year old school choice program that allows parents to choose the school ­ public or private ­ that their children attend.

“This is an early Christmas present for 3,800 kids who really need one,” declared Clint Bolick, the Institute for Justice’s litigation director. “This is an extraordinary action for the Supreme Court to take and it underscores how completely out of line Judge Oliver’s order was.”

Bolick said, “Now while this litigation proceeds, at least the kids’ education will no longer be at risk. This is spectacular.”

In its order, the Court stated: “Treating the application as a request for a stay of the preliminary injunction, the application for stay presented to Justice Stevens and by him referred to the Court is granted. The preliminary injunction entered by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, case No. 99 CV 1710, on August 24, 1999, is stayed pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer would deny the application for a stay.”

“We don’t want to over-read this ruling, but it certainly is an optimistic sign for those who favor school choice,” Bolick concluded.