Jewish Link: Supreme Court Issues Landmark Decision on Funding for Religious Schools
June 21, 2022

by Elizabeth Kratz in the Jewish Link

It may not alleviate the Jewish community’s heavy tuition burden, but a watershed decision like this from the Supreme Court certainly has the potential to lighten the load.

On Tuesday, the nation’s highest court issued a decision on Carson v. Makin, indicating that states may not exclude families and schools from tuition-assistance programs because of a school’s religious status; if states provide funds to private schools, they cannot discriminate against private schools with a religious identity.

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The Orthodox Union participated in the case by filing a friend of the court brief co-authored by attorneys Gordon Todd and Daniel Feith of the Sidley & Austin law firm, Professor Michael Avi Helfand of Pepperdine Law School and Diament. Agudath Israel of America, along with several other Orthodox Jewish groups, submitted an amicus brief in the case, authored by constitutional scholar Nathan Lewin. Coalition for Jewish Values also submitted a brief.

Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director for the Coalition for Jewish Values, made the following statement: “The Maine law was obviously prejudicial against religiously-motivated parents, forcing them to choose between shouldering secular education costs entirely on their own or denying their children the opportunity to attend a religious school. As we said in our brief to the Supreme Court, this was ‘an obvious burden and disincentive for religious observance,’ and we welcome the Court’s recognition that this was a violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the Bill of Rights. Given the impact upon other forms of federal and state tuition assistance, parents and children nationwide will benefit from this important decision.”

See the full article in the Jewish Link

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