The Supreme Court rejected Maine’s ban on providing aid to religious schools

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that religious schools in Maine should not be excluded from the state curriculum. The decision of the court, which has grown to exceptionally accept the claims of religious people and groups within various organizations, is the latest in a series of rulings that the government should assist religious institutions as well as other private organizations.

The vote was 6 to 3, with three liberal judges of the court disagreeing.

Case, Carson v. McKinney, no. 20-1088, arose from an extraordinary project in Maine that rural communities without public high schools should be organized in one of two ways for the education of their young residents. They can sign agreements with nearby public schools or pay tuition at a private school chosen by parents, which, in the words of a state law, is “a secular school under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

Two families in Maine have challenged a law that would send or want to send their children to religious schools, claiming it violates their right to free exercise of their faith.

One of the schools involved in the case, Temple Academy in Waterville, Maine, says it expects its teachers to “integrate biblical principles with their teachings in every subject” and to teach students to “spread the word of Christianity.” Another says that Bangor Christian Schools strives to develop “a Christian worldview and philosophy of Christian life for every student.”

Both schools “honestly acknowledge the discrimination against homosexuals, transgender and non-Christian people” The Supreme Court said.

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The lawsuit was probably funded by a court in Montana in 2020. Espinoza v. Montana Revenue Department. In that case, the court ruled that states should allow religious schools to participate in scholarship programs for students in private schools.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who writes for the majority in the Montana case, argued that the state constitution’s provision prohibiting church-run schools from violating the U.S. Constitution’s protection of free use of religion by discriminating against religious people. And schools.

“A government does not need to subsidize private education,” the chief justice wrote. “But once a government decides to do so, some private schools cannot be disqualified simply because they are religious.”

But the Montana decision changed the religious status of schools, not their curricula. Chief Justice Roberts said there may be a difference between a company’s religious identity and its behavior.

“We agree on the point, but it does not need to be explored here,” he wrote.

Maine’s new lawsuit solved that open question.

The Supreme Court has long ruled that states can choose to provide assistance to religious schools, along with other private schools. In cases from Montana and Maine the question was the opposite: Can states refuse to provide such assistance to other private schools if it is available?

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