Out of California comes a court decision that denies any constitutional right to homeschool. The initial news reports made it sound bad , and the decision itself seems to go far beyond where it needed to.

But Joseph Knippenberg , Richard Garnett , and even the libertarian legal bloggers at the Volokh Conspiracy have also noticed that the facts in this particular case are weak. It’s an awkward ruling, for the defendants appear hardly the people one wants as models for asserting that parents should be able to homeschool, but, instead of deciding the case on those grounds, the court in its decision pushed on to a strong declaration against any right of parents.

ADD : Gabriel Malo makes an interesting case that the initial news report in the Los Angeles Times got the story wrong. He may well be right, but the the decision still does conclude with a denial of a parental right—which is bad news for homeschoolers, as it settles what had been an open question in a negative direction. The question to which Malo rightly points is the role of the “credentialed tutor” the state requires. Who gives the credentials? ANd what rules on the education—sex, religion, philosophy—is the credentialing power strong enough to impose?