CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and an 18-state coalition scored a win at the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday involving religious liberty when considering the use of public funds for private schools.
“Parents have the freedom to choose where their children go to school, particularly when they’re paying tuition,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This is a big win for religious liberty and school choice. It’s only fair that families who practice a religion of their choice get the same freedom. Discrimination against schools that teach religious doctrine is simply discrimination against religious schools.”
In the case Carson v. Makin the Supreme Court ruled Maine’s “nonsectarian” requirement for its otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Regardless of how the benefit and restriction are described, the program operates to identify and exclude otherwise eligible schools on the basis of their religious exercise. The judgment of the Court of Appeals was reversed, and the case was remanded for further proceedings consistent with the opinion.
Many of the states that joined the brief partner with private schools to help parents make the educational choices they think best fit their families. The details of these partnerships vary, but the states do not condition a school’s participation on its religiousness.
The attorneys general of the 18-state coalition contended that openness to partnering with religious schools furthers their states’ goal of providing an array of educational choices. It also protects their citizens’ constitutional rights.
West Virginia joined the Arkansas-led brief with Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
Read the SCOTUS opinion at: https://bit.ly/3Oa3cWL.