Colorado Supreme Court rules Douglas County School District school voucher is unconstitutional

Jul 2, 2015

by Deb Stanley

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that Douglas County’s school voucher program is unconstitutional.

Taxpayers for Public Education originally sued the Douglas County School District in 2011, contending that DougCo’s voucher system violated the Colorado Constitution and the Public School Finance Act.

The court issued a ruling Monday, reversing the Colorado Court of Appeals’ previous decision that upheld the voucher program. It also ordered the Court of Appeals to return the case to the original, trial court so that an order permanently enjoining the Choice Scholarship Pilot Program (CSP) can be reinstated.

Specifically, Monday’s ruling states that CSP violated article IX, section 7 of the Colorado Constitution. That section reads:

Neither the general assembly, nor any county, city, town, township, school district or other public corporation, shall ever make any appropriation, or pay from any public fund or moneys whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian society, or for any sectarian purpose, or to help support or sustain any school, academy, seminary, college, university or other literary or scientific institution, controlled by any church or sectarian denomination whatsoever; nor shall any grant or donation of land, money or other personal property, ever be made by the state, or any such public corporation to any church, or for any sectarian purpose.


Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

5 comments on “Colorado Supreme Court rules Douglas County School District school voucher is unconstitutional

  • @OP – Specifically, Monday’s ruling states that CSP violated article IX, section 7 of the Colorado Constitution. That section reads:

    Apart from the faith-blinkered and illiterate, it is difficult to see how anyone in the lower court could fail to understand the quoted section!



    Report abuse

  • Huh. Why would they bother. It is obviously unconstitutional.

    Rachael Maddow spoke about a state that had put through a bill 14 times to allow discrimination on any religious basis. It had been declared unconstitutional each time. But they hope to win by attrition. Surely the higher courts have some mechanism to stop politicians from screwing with them that way.



    Report abuse

  • Alan4discussion
    Jul 2, 2015 at 5:52 pm
    Apart from the faith-blinkered and illiterate, it is difficult to see how anyone in the lower court could fail to understand the quoted section!

    The operation of the judicial system in the USA is in an appalling state which both mirrors, and is also largely caused by, the awful political system. In the UK I think we can rely on judges being reasonably impartial and honest and not overly political but there isn’t even the pretence of that in the USA. Look at the way the USA Supreme Court judges vote. The republican appointed 5 tend to vote one way and the democrat appointed 4 vote the other way.

    Judges in State Courts in some states have to run for office and to raise campaign funds they tap up law firms for donations. The clear implication is if you appear before me but didn’t contribute to my campaign funds then don’t expect to win many cases. Such potential conflicts of interest seem totally indefensible to me.

    At the root of all this is the massive gulf between liberal and conservative ideology in the USA which both divides people and permeates to other parts of society such as the courts, education system and healthcare. I have little doubt the judge(s) in the appeal court in this case were quite aware the voucher system was illegal but ruled to uphold it on religious and political grounds anyway.



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.