Washington — On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Maine could not exclude religious schools from the state’s tuition program. The court’s ruling, which has made it much easier to accept claims from religious people and groups in various situations, is the latest in a series of rulings requiring the government to support religious institutions on the same terms as other private organizations. It was a thing.
The vote was 6 to 3, opposed by three liberal judges in the court.
Incident, Carson vs. Makin, No. 20-1088 arose from a rare program in Maine. This program requires local communities without public secondary schools to arrange education for young residents in one of two ways. They can sign a contract with a nearby public school. Alternatively, you can pay tuition at a private school of your choice, as long as it is “private school under the first amendment of the US Constitution” in state law. .. “
Two families in Maine who sent or wanted to send their children to religious schools challenged the law, alleging that they violated their right to exercise their faith freely.
One of the schools in question in this case, the Temple Academy in Waterville, Maine, hoped that teachers would “integrate Bible principles with the teachings of all subjects” and told students “Christianity.” He states that he teaches “to spread the word.” Another Bangor Christian School states that it aims to develop “Christian worldviews and Christian life philosophies within each student.”
According to a summary of the Supreme Court in Maine, the two schools “frankly admit that they are discriminating against transgender and non-Christian homosexuals.”
The case was similar to the Montana Espinoza vs. Montana Revenue Department, which was decided by the court in 2020. In that case, the court ruled that the state must allow religious schools to participate in programs that provide scholarships to students attending private schools.
Judge John G. Roberts Jr. expressed majority support in the Montana case, and the provisions of the State Constitution prohibiting assistance to church-run schools are religions under the US Constitution by discriminating against religious people. Said that it violated the protection of free exercise. And school.
“The state does not need to subsidize private education,” the presiding judge wrote. “But if the state decides to do so, some private schools cannot be disqualified just because they are religious.”
However, Montana’s decision influenced the religious status of the school, not the curriculum. Judge Roberts said there may be differences between the institution’s religious identity and its conduct.
“We admit that, but we don’t have to look it up here,” he wrote.
A new case from Maine has solved its unsolved question.
The Supreme Court has long argued that the state may choose to provide assistance to religious schools along with other private schools. The questions for Montana and Maine were the opposite. Can the state refuse to provide such assistance if it becomes available in other private schools?