Jindal: DOJ 'More Interested In Skin Color' Than Education
8:01 AM, Jan 8, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In November, the Obama Justice Department dropped a lawsuit aimed at stopping a school voucher program in Louisiana. The Louisiana Scholarship Program is intended to give students in failing public schools a chance to attend better schools, including private ones. Justice tried to block the program on the basis that it may have violated a 1975 federal desegregation order. The case began to heat up when Republican governor Bobby Jindal, joined by some parents of students (chiefly minorities) who had benefited from the voucher program, began a defense in the courts. Justice then filed a motion contesting the parents' standing in the case.
However, when U.S. district court judge Ivan Lemelle handed down his ruling in November, he revealed that the Justice Department had "abandoned" its efforts to end the voucher program. "We are pleased that the Obama Administration has given up its attempt to end the Louisiana Scholarship Program with this absurd lawsuit," Jindal said at the time.
But Justice did not completely fold, requesting that the court allow a federal review process of the voucher program. In a November 22 hearing, the judge ordered the two sides to file proposals to modify the process for information sharing with respect to the Louisiana Scholarship Program.
Tuesday evening, those proposals were filed. Read DOJ's filing here and the state's counter-filing here. Jindal wasted no time in harshly criticizing the Justice Department's plan. According to the governor's office:
Jindal pulled no punches in his characterization of Justice's position:
The governor's statement also provided a description of the proposal filed by the state of Louisiana, which would not eliminate the federal role, but would minimize Justice's involvement and shift the burden of proof of discrimination to the DOJ:
The Justice Department has not yet issued a statement about the proposal filings.
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