Now for a bit of good news. The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the Separation of Church and State in Maine by not taking up a court case filed by the “Institute for Justice” over whether or not school vouchers could be used for religious schools. A lower court had ruled that using vouchers for religious schools would be a violation of the Establishment Clause and the Supreme Court let that ruling stand:
School districts in 145 small towns in Maine that have no high schools currently offer tuition for 17,000 students to attend high schools of their choice, public or private, in-state or out-of-state. But religious schools are no longer on the list. Maine’s school system dates back to 1879.
In 1980, the state attorney general said the program violated the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause. The Maine Legislature made it law in 1983.
Last April, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that restrictions on tuition vouchers are a valid, constitutional enactment. The court said the state attorney general and the legislature were motivated by a desire to respect and comply with the Constitution rather than any religious hostility.
Dick Komer, the senior litigation attorney for the Institute for Justice, said Maine is engaging in blatant government discrimination against parents who choose religious schools and that it is “appalling that the nation’s highest court” lets it continue.
Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.