We fought hard to keep teacher's certification out of federal law in H.R. 6. Now the United States Senate is poised to confirm a member of the United States Supreme Court who not only believes that the imposition of teacher's certification on private education is constitutional—he believes that it is constitutional for government to totally ban home education.
Bill Clinton's latest nominee to the Supreme Court, Stephen Breyer, is simply unacceptable to home educators. A general reading of his opinions reveals that he is a bit too much of a statist for my tastes. But in the area of freedom for private education—and especially home education—he is so far beyond the pale that it is not an exaggeration to suggest that Breyer holds essentially totalitarian views.
The irony is that I was actually rooting for the nomination of Judge Richard Arnold from Arkansas, who was Clinton's other finalist for this seat. I knew that Clinton would not nominate a true conservative libertarian, but Judge Arnold has an excellent record in supporting religious liberty in the context of private education.
In 1984, Judge Arnold wrote the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, holding that it was unconstitutional for police officers to raid a church service, evicting people on their knees in prayer, and padlock the church building. The church was in the midst of a dispute over teacher certification of their church school. I argued that case before Judge Arnold and was very impressed with his impartiality and love of freedom.
The Supreme Court is dominated by statists. In the interest of fairness, I should point out that all but one of the current justices were nominated by Republican presidents. There is no voice on the Supreme Court which consistently stands for the principle of the maximum freedom possible balanced by the moral laws of God—a concept our Founders clearly accepted. The only hope for balance currently is to put a few freedom lovers on the Court to balance those who love government power and order far too much.
If Breyer was simply another routine statist, we would probably just sigh with sadness and let it go. But he has revealed himself to be an activist opponent of our most fundamental rights and as difficult as it may be to scuttle his nomination, we must try. If you aim at nothing you hit it every time.
I know we did a great deal to activate our forces to battle H.R. 6. Sometimes we get a little tired. But we cannot let any fatigue slow us down when a matter of our fundamental liberties are at stake.
Breyer may be a mild-mannered judge. Breyer may be in the "middle" on certain issues. But on the issue that affects our day-to-day freedoms more than any other, Breyer is more than willing to let the heavy boot of government come forcefully down upon our liberties.
— Mike Farris