All of Your Money Belongs to the State

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in an appeal of a 9th Circuit decision, Winn v Garriott, a challenge to one of Arizona’s education tax credit programs. It’s been getting more press than I’d expected, in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today. That’s great news, because the case is far more important than just saving a program that improves education and expands educational freedom.

The 9th Circuit’s reasoning arrogates to the state all property, dissolving the distinction between public and private funds as well as public and private choices. It is a disturbing, dangerous decision.

They assert that tax cuts are the equivalent of government funds, a conclusion possible only if one assumes that all personal income belongs by default to the state rather than to the individual who earned the money. It asserts as well that when taxpayers and parents privately choose to support religious educational organizations, they are in violation of the First Amendment. This reasoning blatantly ignores the logic and plain meaning of the 2002 Zelman decision upholding school vouchers, among others.

Here is a prediction; the court will have their absurd ruling on an Arizona education tax credit program posted on the wall of judicial shame like so many others issued from their Circuit.

But I want more from the Court. This ruling is so awful that I can only pray SCOTUS rules beyond the questionable standing of the plaintiffs and comprehensively dismembers this most egregious 9th Circuit decision.