Today, the Supreme Court decided that Maine can not exclude religious schools from a tuition program taking place in the state. The vote was 6 to 3, with the three voters who voted against the decision being the liberal judges. Though this represents one decision, it comes from a series of rulings deciding if governments should aid religious schools with the same method of aiding other private organizations. According to New York Times, the case focused on a program in Maine for rural communities where parents”can sign contracts with nearby public schools, or they can pay tuition at a private school chosen by parents so long as it is, in the words of a state law, ‘a nonsectarian school in accordance with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.'”
The Supreme Court just struck down a Maine program that does not allow public funds to go to schools that promote religious instruction.
Sotomayor's dissent: "This Court continues to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 21, 2022
Some families in Maine challenged the law, as they believed that this violated their rights to exercise their faith, as they wanted to send their child to a private, religious school. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote “The State pays tuition for certain students at private schools — so long as the schools are not religious. That is discrimination against religion,” as he spoke for the majority in the ruling. He believes the program was “not neutral” and was unconstitutional.
Twenty-five years after I filed the first lawsuit challenging Maine’s exclusion of religious schools from its town tuitioning program, SCOTUS agrees with me in Carson. What an incredible day. I’m overwhelmed. https://t.co/ih0FUmUol8
— Nicole Garnett (@nsgarnett) June 21, 2022
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the justices who did not agree, said “This Court continues to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build.” Although the court’s decision sat well along with many conservatives, others believed that this was infringing on the separation of church and state. Now, Maine continues to trend on Twitter as people discuss this ruling and the impact it represents. “Count it as one more nail in the coffin of Separation of Church and State,” one person wrote onlinE.
SCOTUS just ruled that state programs providing tuition assistance for students to attend private schools must be forced to provide assistance for religious private schools too. If our taxes go to religious institutions, then it invites us to regulate religious school curricula.
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) June 21, 2022
Many suspected that the ruling being released today would be about Roe V. Wade being overturned, but that decision still has not been made. Since another opinion will be released this coming Thursday, some expect that this will be about that ruling.