State of West Virginia v. Beaver
Description: A legal challenge to West Virginia’s Hope Scholarship program, that if successful, could impact thousands of families who send their children to schools aligned with their values.
WV high court rules to protect Hope Scholarship program for Christian families, schools
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia’s decision Thursday in State of West Virginia v. Beaver to allow the Hope Scholarship program to go into effect, a state-run program that thousands of families rely on to send their children to schools aligned with their values:
“Thousands of West Virginia families, including those from impoverished areas, rely on Hope Scholarships to send their children to good schools that align with their faith and values. On behalf of those families and the West Virginia Christian Education Association and Christian schools across the state, we’re pleased West Virginia’s high court has allowed this program to be fully implemented. With the future of Hope Scholarship funding secure, West Virginia families can once again select schools for their children that improve their educational opportunities and align with their faith.”
ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief in September on behalf of the West Virginia Christian Education Association asking West Virginia’s high court to reverse a lower court’s ruling and dissolve an injunction that had prevented the Hope Scholarship program from going into effect, which the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia did Thursday.
Zachary Viglianco, Gordon Mowen, and Ryan Nash with law firm Orndorff Mowen PLLC are serving as lead counsel in the case on behalf of the West Virginia Christian Education Association and are part of the ADF Attorney Network.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom. Bursch has argued 12 U.S. Supreme Court cases and more than 30 state supreme court cases since 2011, and a recent study concluded that among all frequent Supreme Court advocates who did not work for the federal government, he had the 3rd highest success rate for persuading justices to adopt his legal position. Bursch served as solicitor general for the state of Michigan from 2011-2013. He has argued multiple Michigan Supreme Court cases in eight of the last ten terms and has successfully litigated hundreds of matters nationwide, including six with at least $1 billion at stake. As part of his private firm, Bursch Law PLLC, he has represented Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.