Bush Administration Files Brief Urging U.S. Supreme Court To Review Cleveland School Choice Case

John Kramer
John Kramer · June 22, 2001

Washington, D.C.-United States Solicitor General Theodore Olson today took the unusual step of filing a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to review the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision striking down Cleveland’s school choice program.

“This is a strong and welcome signal that it’s the right time and the right case for the Supreme Court to resolve the constitutionality of school choice,” declared Clint Bolick, litigation director at the Washington-based Institute for Justice, which has defended the Cleveland program and other school choice programs on behalf of parents and children.

The United States rarely files briefs urging court review of cases in which it is not a party. The Court has declined review of other school choice decisions, but supporters believe this will boost their chances of Supreme Court review.

“This is the first case in which thousands of children will be forced to leave good schools if the Court fails to grant review,” Bolick declared. “Moreover, a direct conflict exists between the Ohio Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit over the constitutionality of the Cleveland program—a conflict only the Supreme Court can resolve.”

Bolick had warm words for the Bush Administration’s action. “The Administration is putting action behind its verbal support for school choice,” he said. “In terms of educational opportunities, this could be the most significant Supreme Court case since 1954.”