Here at Above the Law I often think of myself as crazy, legalizing all drugs, and gun control in general is a bad libertarian. While I have to admit that most of my political preferences are neither universally nor falsely universally accepted by my fellow citizens, at the same time I do not believe that my political or legal philosophy can be called radical. Like John Stuart Mill, I simply feel that there is an important distinction between “self-related acts” and all “other related acts”. To explain the distinction, the former means doing things to yourself that do not harm others, although they may be self-destructive, while the latter includes all other actions that can harm others. In practical application to things like drugs and weapons, this means distinguishing between laws that criminalize driving under influence or unjustified violence against innocents, and laws that criminalize simple possession or use without any risk or risk There is harm to others.
If you apply my libertarianism to education policy, you can expect to find me on the school election train. The more I became concerned with how proponents of “choice” of school (including libertarians) want these systems to work, the more I began to see the use of the word “choice” as a misnomer. In fact, I am submitting school electoral systems because they currently work and violate any principle of freedom of conscience.
First, let’s examine how school choice is portrayed by its proponents. According to the Institute for Justice, a libertarian law firm of public interest, school choice is about “giving all parents, whatever their means, the freedom to choose where and how their children are educated”. This may sound perfectly reasonable to many, including me. But the more you study the actual policies that are being defended and promoted, the more misleading this description becomes. Before I criticize the institute’s position on the “choice” of school, however, let me be very clear: The Institute of Justice is doing an amazing job, particularly in terms of reforming the criminal justice system, including combating the horrific and discriminatory government practice of the Forfeiture of civil assets. And before I returned to my home state of Alaska, I even applied for a position at the institute.
What has been said, which makes the declared position of the institute on “school choice” a misnomer, is that it does not take into account how this “freedom of choice” is intended. For example, if parents are only given “freedom of choice” because the federal government has forced unwilling states and taxpayers to pay for it, I cannot honestly say that such a system reflects an obligation to choose or to self with respect to act.
If you don’t think all of this is hypothetical, take Espinoza v. Montana. A case that the Institute of Justice still touts as a victory for the “choice” of the school. In Espinoza, the question arose whether Montana’s “no-aid” constitutional requirement for religion could prevent religious schools from receiving state funding from the state scholarship program. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled that excluding religious schools violates the free practice of religion. The result was that taxpayers and states are now tasked with including religious schools in state funding programs for private education.
The problem here is that a fairly obvious component of religious freedom, as James Madison put it, “that the religion or duty we owe to our Creator and the way we perform it is governed only by reason and conviction can become, not through violence or violence. “However, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled, as in Espinoza, that if states do not force citizens to subsidize churches and religions they do not support or do not want to believe, religious freedom is somehow violated. Simply put, the only” freedom ” The freedom promoted here is the freedom to force otherwise unwilling citizens to sponsor religious beliefs or churches, but when education systems work this way and nonbelievers or LGBT citizens are forced to subsidize teaching religious beliefs – beliefs mind you who teach things how all unbelievers deserve to rot in hell for all eternity or promote children in a government program should be denied access to loving, qualified homes where same-sex couples live. Such a system as promoting the free To designate choice is obviously absurd. If not intentionally misleading. Because what is actually going on is a gross violation of freedom of free conscience.
Of course, if a system of school choice simply allowed individual citizens to channel the money they personally pay as taxes on education to the school of their choice, that would better reflect freedom of choice and self-centered action. Even if such a non-preferential, individually autonomous system nevertheless violates the original understanding of religious freedom. But as shown above in cases like Espinoza, this is not the system we have. What we have is a school “choice” system that routinely violates the free conscience by forcing citizens to subsidize the teaching of religious beliefs with which they adamantly disagree. Instead, let’s call these systems what too many Americans consider them to be: Tyrannical.
Tyler Broker’s work was published in the Gonzaga Law Review, the Albany Law Review, and appears in the University of Memphis Law Review. Feel free email him or follow him further Twitter to discuss his column.