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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► Douglas County officials are looking toward their next step in defending their nonsense “voucher” program after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled last week that programs were discriminating on religious grounds when they weren’t flat-out stealing taxpayer money. As Eric Gorski writes for the Denver Post:
In rejecting the vouchers, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice cited Colorado’s “stark constitutional provision” forbidding the use of public money to fund religious schools. That, she wrote, is exactly what the Douglas County initiative does, essentially working as a “recruitment program.”
Legal experts agree the U.S. Supreme Court typically does not get involved in state constitutional questions. But they differ on whether the circumstances of the Douglas County case put it in a different league.
Heather Weaver, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, an original plaintiff, said there is “really no grounds” for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
► In the “Ship’s That Already Sailed” department, opponents of LGBT rights and same sex marriage are planning a couple of idiotic ballot measures for 2016. We’d encourage the political geniuses behind these measures to take another look at just how dramatically these issues have shifted over the last decade. If you’d rather not read words, check out this amazing graphic from the New York Times.
Get even more smarter after the jump…
IN CASE YOU ARE STANDING NEAR A WATER COOLER…
► Despite the impression you might get from new Texas schoolbooks, Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan is not the name of a bad 80s band. As the Washington Post explains:
Five million public school students in Texas will begin using new social studies textbooks this fall based on state academic standards that barely address racial segregation. The state’s guidelines for teaching American history also do not mention the Ku Klux Klan or Jim Crow laws.
And when it comes to the Civil War, children are supposed to learn that the conflict was caused by “sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery” — written deliberately in that order to telegraph slavery’s secondary role in driving the conflict, according to some members of the state board of education.
Slavery was a “side issue to the Civil War,” said Pat Hardy, a Republican board member, when the board adopted the standards in 2010. “There would be those who would say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery. No. It was over states’ rights.”
As the old saying goes, those who fail to learn from history…something, something.
► Speaking of terrible education policy, an effort to recall three conservative Jefferson County School Board members kicks off on Wednesday at Jeffco Fairgrounds.
► Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) is in deep trouble as he looks ahead to 2016. It’s never good for re-election when your wife is the primary figure in one of the biggest political scandals in Colorado history. Coffmangate!
► You’ve probably heard Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric by now; 9News tracked down the 2012 Miss Colorado winner to get her opinion, for some reason.
► Longtime Denver political activist Ellis McFadden died on Saturday after fighting esophageal cancer. The legislature has declared July 2nd “Ellis McFadden Day.”
► Remember, kids: Campaign finance filings are not just suggestions.
OTHER LINKS YOU SHOULD CLICK
► Guess who is still grandstanding about the VA Hospital mess in Aurora? If you selected Rep. Mike Coffman, Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee under the House Veterans Affairs Committee, you win a prize. Coffman is upset because, as he says, “the VA won’t hold itself accountable.” Neither will the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, apparently, so they’ve got that in common.
► GQ Magazine has decided that Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) is not the worst-dressed Congressperson in history.
► Congressional Republicans are bringing back the “Fiscal Cliff.”
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