The red stone outcropping that gives this community its name is just a facet of the histrionic geology of Douglas County that sprawls prettily along the front range of the Rockies south of Denver. The county is named, Lord knows why, for Stephen Douglas, who defeated Abraham Lincoln in Illinois’ 1858 U.S. Senate election. Lincoln opposed Douglas’s repugnant “popular sovereignty” plan for allowing territories to vote for or against accepting slavery. Today, Douglas County has an admirable plan for popular sovereignty in education — school choice.
But the plan has been disrupted by a judge who says, among other things, that providing parents with scholarship money that can be spent at religious or secular schools violates Colorado’s Constitution. That document says that “no person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent.”