The Supreme Court Issues a Victory for Religious Parents https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/religion-holidays/2022/06/the-supreme-court-issues-a-victory-for-religious-parents/

June 22, 2022 | Dan McLaughlin
About the author:

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned a Maine law barring students in religious private schools from receiving tuition aid from the state. Dan McLaughlin reports:

The First Amendment never uses the term “separation of church and state.” It instead contains two religion clauses: one that prevents Congress (or, since the 14th Amendment, the states) from passing any law establishing a state church or “respecting” such an establishment; and the other protecting the free exercise of religion from government prohibitions. A myth has grown up around Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 phrase “wall of separation” that treats religion not as a thing the government cannot mandate or regulate, but as a kind of kryptonite the government must avoid any contact with even if it means separation of religious people and institutions from equal participation in what the state provides. That is not what the establishment clause was understood to mean in 1791, and today, the Supreme Court went further: it concluded that discrimination of that sort violates the free-exercise clause.

Tuesday’s six-three Supreme Court decision in Carson v. Makin, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, is a huge victory for the freedom of religious parents to educate their children in the school of their choice on the same terms as non-religious parents.

Both “separation of church and state” and “wall of separation” are, in fact, slogans rather than constitutional commitments. Allowing students to take state aid to a religious school on the same terms as a secular school does not establish a church, any more than allowing them to use Pell Grants at a religious college or, for that matter, allowing people to buy Bibles with their Social Security checks, establishes a state church. As Roberts summarized: “The State pays tuition for certain students at private schools—so long as the schools are not religious. That is discrimination against religion.”

Read more on National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/supreme-court-the-first-amendment-bans-states-from-excluding-religious-schools-from-school-choice-programs/

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now