There’s no doubt that Louisiana’s legislature and their Governor are crazed — see Victory for Creationism and Voodoo. But there was more recent creationism action in Louisiana than that.
The state also has a judiciary. You can make all the lawyer jokes you like, but the courts can be the last chance for sanity in what is otherwise an insane world.
Last year we wrote Louisiana Voucher Program Ruled Unconstitutional. That was about a trial court’s decision regarding Bobby Jindal’s state-financed school voucher program, which was being used to fund private creationist schools. See Louisiana Creationism Is National News.
The case was appealed, but that didn’t generate any news — at least none that we noticed. Until today. Look what we found in The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It’s an editorial titled Jindal loses on funding. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
In a 6-1 ruling, the [Louisiana Supreme Court] upheld a lower court ruling that the constitution forbids vouchers paid for from public funds from the Minimum Foundation Program, the principal state aid to public schools.
We’ve been looking around for a copy of the court’s opinion, even at the court’s website, but they don’t have their opinions online. Louisiana doesn’t seem to be connected to the internet. Why should they be? The internet isn’t mentioned in Genesis. Wait — we found it!
We humbly recant the silly remarks we made in our prior paragraph. Here’s the opinion, which is posted at the court’s website — it’s 67 pages long. Even the name of the case is almost a page long, so we’ll shorten it: LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS [and several other parties] v. STATE OF LOUISIANA [and others].
There’s no way we’re going to read that monster (unless the creationists start to misquote it) so here’s more from the editorial in The Advocate:
But the court’s ruling specifically did not forbid use of other public funds for private school vouchers, and so the way is clear for the second year of a statewide voucher program.
That sounds like it was a technical decision based on the specific wording of a funding statute, and it wasn’t based on any principled objection to the state’s funding of private creationist schools. That means the state is still free to pay for such insanity. Here’s more from the editorial:
The hitch is that the court ruling means that the governor and backers of vouchers must persuade the Legislature to come up with money for vouchers elsewhere in the state budget.
No problem — the taxpayers are just squatting around in ignorance. They’ll pay, especially if it’s specifically promoted as funding for creationism. Remember, we’re talking about Louisiana.
Anyway, we haven’t read the court’s opinion, and except for the parties to the case, probably no one else has either — at least not yet. If we learn more about this, we’ll let you know. If not, it’ll have to be sufficient to learn that Jindal’s program for having the state fund private creationist schools has been halted — at least temporarily.
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