Catholic League president Bill Donohue said both the Democrat Party and Black Lives Matter resemble the Ku Klux Klan in their vicious opposition to school choice.
“The Democratic Party, and its new allies, Black Lives Matter, are strongly opposed to giving minority children from poor families the same options for school choice afforded rich white folks,” Dr. Donohue said Tuesday. “So is the Ku Klux Klan.”
“In 1922, the Klan succeeded in pushing for an Oregon law that forced every child to attend a public school,” Donohue continued. “Three years later, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, it lost, in a unanimous decision, in the Supreme Court.”
Dr. Donohue was commenting on Tuesday’s 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that states may provide tax credits to those donating to scholarship funds for religious schools. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the Court ruled in favor of a Montana school choice program that allows a tax-credit scholarship program to benefit religious schools.
In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that although no state is required to subsidize private schools, once it does “it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”
The Montana law was challenged because it violated its Blaine Amendment, which denies state funding to religious schools, Donohue notes. The original Blaine Amendment — named after Rep. James Blaine of Maine — was put forward in 1876 but never passed at the federal level.
The amendment did work its way into 37 state constitutions, including that of Montana.
“The Blaine Amendment was rooted in anti-Catholic bigotry,” Donohue writes. “It was designed to force Catholic students to attend public schools, which at the time required students to embrace Protestant teachings and practices.”
Tuesday “may be a bad day for the Democrats, Black Lives Matter, and the Ku Klux Klan,” Donohue concludes, “but it is a good day for Catholics, and indeed people of every faith.”