Following the ruling in favor of the Christian parents who challenged Maine's policy on education aid in 2018, different Christian advocates celebrate the victory on religious freedom.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel John Bursch said in a statement that the government should not take away from Christian parents the educational options that they want for their children or selectively withhold funds based on the religious affiliation of parents when the state offers it to the general public.
He further noted that the Supreme Court's ruling upholds the fundamental value of religious freedom in the country, especially for the Maine parents to have freedom in sending their children to institutions that carry the same values with them.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement that the ruling ended the religious discrimination in Maine. He noted faith-based schools impact the communities and are part of the foundation of the country. Staver said that parents should have more educational options for their children.
Senior fellows from The Catholic Association, Ashley McGuire and Maureen Ferguson, said in a statement that the ruling is a victory for religious freedom and parents' right to educational options. They explained that more parents are seeking out options as public institutions move towards "political indoctrination."
SC Rule Against Maine Refusal To Aid Students From Christian School
The United States Supreme Court ruled last Tuesday against Maine's policy to exclude religious schools from granting students government tuition aid.
In the judgment rendered in David Carson et al. v. A. Pender Makin, the Supreme Court ruled out that denying religious observers access to government benefits is a violation of the Free Exercise Clause. The justices decided by a vote of 6-3 that a state tuition aid program could not prevent parents from using the funds for sectarian schools.
In the major opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, he noted that a government benefit program that funds a sectarian establishment through state individual decision does not impede the Establishment Clause. It was also indicated that Maine violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment for its "nonsectarian" policy on its public tuition assistance.
The Christian Post reported that the Supreme Court's verdict overturns an appeals court decision and holds the case for additional procedures following the ruling issued. Aside from Roberts, the majority includes Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
In the dissent written by Justice Stephen Breyer, she argues that the First Amendment forbids the government from establishing any law concerning religious institutions and making laws prohibiting religious freedom. She wrote that the High Court gave more emphasis on the second clause rather than the first one.
Breyer noted that a State allows financial support from religious institutions to advance anti-establishment without violating the Constitution's guarantees for the free exercise of religion. She wrote "In my view, Maine's nonsectarian requirement falls squarely within the scope of that constitutional leeway." According to the report, Breyer was joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to uphold that the state's restriction policy for tuition assistance was constitutional.
However, the verdict sustains the court's 2020 decision against a scholarship scheme in Montana that also prohibited religious institutions from obtaining cash.