Yesterday, Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and four other prominent Congressional Republicans fired off a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, urging him to reconsider a motion the Department of Justice recently filed seeking an injunction against the implementation of Louisiana’s voucher program in the thirty-four schools in thirteen districts still under federal desegregation orders.
Notably, Boehner’s letter mistakenly claims the Department of Justice is targeting thirty-four “districts,” which clearly indicates that neither he nor anyone else who signed onto the letter actually read the DOJ’s memorandum.
I’ll do them a favor; here it is.
Put simply, the Jindal administration never considered the effects or ramifications of the voucher program on federal desegregation compliance, and because the Department of Justice is duty-bound to enforce the law and after months in which the Louisiana Department of Education repeatedly refused to provide the documentation they requested, once the information was finally received and thoroughly analyzed, the DOJ was compelled to act.
It’s almost as if the Jindal administration and the Louisiana Department of Education were purposely goading the Justice Department. The DOJ is not and has never claimed that Louisiana’s voucher program, as a matter of policy, inherently violates federal desegregation orders; instead, the DOJ argues that the program, as it has been applied, does not sufficiently comply with desegregation orders in thirteen school districts (even though Louisiana has sixty-four parishes, there are over ninety school districts). Importantly, the Louisiana Department of Education refused to provide the DOJ information on the “schools selected” by over 1,200 voucher students.