The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Tuesday morning that government tuition assistance programs cannot discriminate against religious schools. The opinion is from Carson v. Makin, a case out of Maine.
“Maine has enacted a program of tuition assistance for parents who live in school districts that do not operate a secondary school of their own. Under the program, parents designate the secondary school they would like their child to attend—public or private—and the school district transmits payments to that school to help defray the costs of tuition. Most private schools are eligible to receive the payments, so long as they are ‘nonsectarian,'” the majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, states. “The question presented is whether this restriction violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”
“The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment protects against ‘indirect coercion or penalties on the free exercise of religion, not just outright prohibitions,'” the opinion states. “A State’s antiestablishment interest does not justify enactments that exclude some members of the community from an otherwise generally available public benefit because of their religious exercise.”
The ruling is being celebrated as a win for sch…