Washington, D.C. – Parents for School Choice, the Milwaukee organization that is defending the constitutionality of the expanded Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, announced it promptly will appeal the ruling today by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Paul Higginbotham striking down the expansion.
The Institute for Justice, the Washington-based public interest group that represents the parents, anticipated the result.
“We’ve known since last summer that Judge Higginbotham planned to strike down the program,” declared the Institute’s litigation director Clint Bolick, who has argued the case. “We were anxious to get this decision in order to start the appeals process.”
“We’ll try to move the appeal rapidly in the hopes of obtaining an appeals court decision before the next school year starts,” said Bolick. “We don’t want these schoolchildren to lose out on good schools for another year.”
“Ultimately, we remain confident this program will survive the constitutional challenge and provide desperately needed opportunities to thousands of children,” Bolick added.
Last year, an Ohio trial court upheld a similar school choice program in Cleveland. Nearly 2,000 youngsters were awarded scholarships to attend private schools, including religious ones. The Institute represents parents and children in that lawsuit as well.
The Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. Through strategic litigation, training, and outreach, the Institute secures greater protection for individual liberty, challenges the scope and ideology of the Regulatory Welfare State, and illustrates and extends the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government. The Institute was founded in September 1991 by William Mellor and Clint Bolick.
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(NOTE: To arrange interviews on this subject, journalists may call John Kramer, the Institute for Justice’s director of communications, at (202) 955-1300 or in the evening/weekend at (301) 972-2424.)