Thursday, December 28, 2017

Allowing judges to dictate choice of school

UCLA prof E. Volokh has moved his blog to a Libertarian site, while claiming that he is only "Often Libertarian", and not necessarily a true libertarian.

He has a libertarian view of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, but he agrees with this family court decision:
That's correct, I think; the father doesn't have a right to demand that R.A. go to a religious school over the mother's objection, but neither does the mother have a right to demand that R.A. go to a secular school over the father's contrary preference. When there is such a conflict, a court must decide, and it must do so on a basis other than the school's religiosity; the Nevada Supreme Court noted several religion-neutral factors for lower courts to consider in making this decision:

(1) The wishes of the child, to the extent that the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference;

(2) The child's educational needs and each school's ability to meet them;

(3) The curriculum, method of teaching, and quality of instruction at each school;

(4) The child's past scholastic achievement and predicted performance at each school;

(5) The child's medical needs and each school's ability to meet them;

(6) The child's extracurricular interests and each school's ability to satisfy them;

(7) Whether leaving the child's current school would disrupt the child's academic progress;

(8) The child's ability to adapt to an unfamiliar environment;

(9) The length of commute to each school and other logistical concerns;

(10) Whether enrolling the child at a school is likely to alienate the child from a parent.
Allowing a judge to force a school choice on parents based on those factors is one of the most anti-libertarian decisions possible.

In the case, the divorced parents agreed to split the cost of private school if they agreed on a private school, but they did not agree to one.

I don't see judge's opinion of those factors 1-10 have any relevance. If the parents don't agree to pay for private school, then the kids can attend public school. Or one parent might offer to pay for private school. But there agreement explicitly rejects the idea that one parent could force the other parent to pay for private school, and the judge should not be able to force that parent either.

I guess that there are Libertarians who believe that children should have individual rights independent of the preferences of their parents. But how would that ever work? It would mean that govt bureaucrats and judges take over the most personal decisions that families make. It would have some of the worst aspects of Communism.

I used to think that Libertarians were pro-freedom, and I was all in favor of that. But more and more, I see Libertarians applaud the most anti-freedom policies.

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