Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie is endorsing former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is running against appointed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama’s U.S. Senate primary runoff for the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Roy Moore has more political spine than anyone I know,” Massie said, according to a press release.
He has twice chosen to lose his job rather than compromise his principles. He is a man willing to stand up to the out of control courts and help us return to the limited government outlined in our Constitution. I give him my full support and look forward to having him as a stalwart colleague in the Senate.
In response to Massie’s endorsement, Moore said, “I am honored to have the support of a fighter for limited government like Congressman Massie. Just as he was one of the few men willing to stand up to the failed leadership of John Boehner, I will not go to the Senate to be a yes man to the establishment.”
The two men have recently expressed the same sentiment when it comes to the federal government’s role in education.
Earlier in September, Moore released a video message on his Twitter account in which he said it is time to end the federal government’s involvement in education and allow parents to take the lead in how best to educate their children.
“They know best how to educate their children,” he said. “The states have various forms of education, but the federal government has no involvement in education under the Constitution.”
In February, Massie introduced H.R. 899, a measure that contains only one sentence: “The Department of Education Shall Terminate on December 31, 2018.”
“Neither Congress nor the President, through his appointees, has the constitutional authority to dictate how and what our children must learn,” Massie said in a press release announcing his bill, adding:
Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children’s intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students. Schools should be accountable. Parents have the right to choose the most appropriate educational opportunity for their children, including home school, public school, or private school.
Moore and Massie articulate the kind of “natural” school choice that would take place if the federal government would exit the realm of education and leave education policy to states and localities. Many establishment Republicans – wedded to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – claim to advocate for school choice, but want the federal government involved in defining the nature of that choice.
In comments to Breitbart News in September of 2016, Neal McCluskey, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at Cato Institute, said school choice is “the key to empowering parents to get the education that is best for their unique children, and for educators to teach how they want and try new, innovative approaches.”
“But this is not something that should come from Washington,” he warned, adding:
The federal government has no constitutional authority to meddle in education, and as it has proven over the last several decades—including by coercing states to adopt the Common Core—once it starts paying for education it starts controlling it, telling everyone what to do and how to do it. The federal government should be withdrawn from education except in Washington, DC, itself, federal installations, and prohibiting state and local discrimination in providing education.
“It is what the Constitution demands, and fifty-plus years of experience with federal spending and interference tells us is right,” McCluskey concluded.