On June 21, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court further reduced the separation of church and state in a ruling endorsing more public funding of religious entities as its conservative justices sided with two Christian families who challenged a Maine tuition assistance program that excluded private religious schools.
In the latest in a series of decisions in recent years expanding religious rights, the justices overturned a lower court ruling that had rejected the families’ claims of religious discrimination in violation of the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment protection of the free exercise of religion.
The court’s majority 6-3 ruling was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts. The decision built upon the court’s 2020 ruling in a Montana case that paved the way for more taxpayer dollars to flow to religious schools.
The case came to the court after two sets of parents in Maine sued, claiming the tuition program violated their religious freedom. In their Carson v. Makin ruling, the Supreme Court majority decided families should have the option to send their students to private religious schools using a public tuition subsidy program. Overall, the decision will make it easier for religious private schools to access public subsidies. The decision also raises concerns that it could lead to public tax dollars supporting attendance at schools that discriminate against certain students.
Source: Reuters; click to read more.
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