Fact & Fiction: Holder Falsely Claims DOJ Did Not Attempt to Block Louisiana Voucher Program

Washington D.C. (April 4, 2014) – The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, reminded Attorney General Eric Holder that despite his statement today before a House subcommittee, under his direction, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attempted to block Louisiana’s voucher program – contradicting his testimony before the House appropriations subcommittee.
According to a report from POLITICO, when asked by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris if DOJ’s civil rights division went to court to block the Louisiana Scholarship Program, Holder denied that he nor DOJ were opposed to the program and went so far to say DOJ never, “sought to do anything with the voucher program as much as to get information.”
However, the DOJ initially filed a motion seeking a permanent injunction to block the voucher program from offering new scholarships to children.
Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the American Federation for Children, issued the following statement:
“Attorney General Holder should know better than to try and rewrite history. Under his direction, the DOJ attempted to block students from obtaining access to Louisiana’s popular and effective voucher program. General Holder needs to immediately set the record straight, apologize to the committee and to the children of Louisiana for his seriously disingenuous statements. We expect more out of our chief law enforcement officer than Washington spin, we expect the full truth even if it requires he admit his Department’s wrongdoing.”
The first line of the lawsuit filed by the DOJ asks the Court to ‘permanently enjoin the State of Louisiana from awarding any school vouchers.’ This specifically blocks school vouchers from being awarded to deserving students.
Only after months of backlash and risk of losing the motion did DOJ strategically drop the injunction to block the program and only request information.
 
Background:
U.S. government sues to block vouchers in some Louisiana school systems – New Orleans Times Picayune
Justice Department attempts to block school voucher program – US News
DOJ gives up on blocking Louisiana voucher program – Politico

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