Supreme Court – sensitive issue – religion in public [#SupremeCourt #SensitiveIssue #ReligionInPublic #StateBenefits] 01/21
The Supreme Court takes up the sensitive issue of religion in public life Wednesday, Jan 22, 2019 considering whether states violate the Constitution if they prevent religious groups from receiving some state benefits.
The justices are asked to strike a balance between the desire of a state to keep government out of religion and the claims of residents that religious faith should not freeze them out of state programs intended to help everyone.
The case comes from Montana, which established a program in 2015 to provide a tax credit of up to $150 a year for people and businesses that donate to private schools.
The organizations that receive the contributions then give financial aid to parents, who decide which private schools their children should attend.
But shortly after the program was launched, a state agency barred any of the scholarship money from ending up at religious schools.
Montana invoked a provision of the state Constitution that prohibits “any direct or indirect appropriation or payment … to aid any church, school … controlled in whole or in part by any church.”
That threatened to shut the program down, because 90 percent of the private schools that signed up had religious affiliations.
Supreme Court takes up church-state separation in Christian schools case: