In the case Carson v. Makin, the Supreme Court just ruled in favor of parents seeking greater school choice for their children, despite widespread attention on the court’s decision about abortion. The case attracted national attention to the vital issue of religious liberty in the U.S. debate over school choice.
According to The Associated Press, the court found by a vote of 6-3 that religious institutions cannot be excluded from state aid programs for parents paying for private education.
John Roberts, the chief justice, authored the majority opinion.
Roberts stated “Maine’s ‘nonsectarian’ requirement for its otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”
“Regardless of how the benefit and restriction are described, the program operates to identify and exclude otherwise eligible schools on the basis of their religious exercise.”
Justices Kagan, Breyer, and Sotomayor dissented along the court’s typical ideological fault lines.
Carson v. Makin centered on whether a state has the power to restrict students’ access to state-sponsored financial assistance programs if the monies are used to attend a private religious school with religious instruction.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
This case was sparked by the state of Maine’s laws that allows students who live in areas without a secondary school to attend private schools using the tax dollars that would have otherwise been spent at a public school.
However, that state tuition aid is only available to schools that are “nonsectarian,” meaning, they do not have religious instruction. Read more…