Supreme Court Rejects Maine’s Ban on Aid to Religious Schools

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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.'”

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.

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.

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.


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