Jump directly to the Content

Supreme Court: Maine’s Tuition Assistance Rule Violated the First Amendment

The state barred funds for parents to use at religious schools, offending the Free Exercise Clause, majority holds.

Supreme Court: Maine’s Tuition Assistance Rule Violated the First Amendment
Image: davidf | Getty

A “nonsectarian” requirement included with a tuition assistance program offered in Maine violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise of Religion Clause, the United States Supreme Court ruled last month.

The 6–3 decision in Carson v. Makin may make it easier for religious schools nationwide, at least in some cases, to benefit from financial aid made available to use at other public and private schools.

Background

Maine has enacted a program of tuition assistance for parents who live in school districts that do not operate a secondary school of their own. Under the program, parents designate the secondary school they would like their child to attend—public or private—and the school district transmits payments to that school to help defray the costs of tuition.

Most private schools are eligible to receive the payments, so long as they are “nonsectarian,” ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • July 9, 2022

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Learn which local, state, and federal laws apply to religious organizations.
2022 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
2022 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
Support your ministry with the most authoritative and comprehensive, year-round tax resource.
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
A review of state laws and court decisions affecting church leaders.
How Political Activities May Affect Tax-Exempt Status
How Political Activities May Affect Tax-Exempt Status
Identify what types of political activities are permissible.