A Supreme Court ruling released Tuesday marks a major victory for parental rights and religious liberty.
On Tuesday, June 21, the Supreme Court widened the scope of parental rights in Carson v. Makin. The Court expanded upon recent precedent, affirming that it is unconstitutional for states to discriminate against students who choose to attend religious schools in student-aid programs.
The Supreme Court STRIKES DOWN a Maine education program that provides tuition assistance for students to attend some private schools but excludes schools that provide religious instruction. SCOTUS says the exclusion of religious schools is unconstitutional.— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 21, 2022
Parents in Maine first filed suit against the state's tuition assistance program in 2018. The claim asserted the requirement to attend a nonsecular school in order to receive funding through the program was unconstitutional under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
Both the trial and appellant courts ruled against religious liberty, citing separation of church and state. The Supreme Court took up the case and overruled. In his majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the court:
"There is nothing neutral about Maine’s program. The State pays tuition for certain students at private schools— so long as the schools are not religious. That is discrimination against religion."
Of course, Leftist groups have already taken to the media to denounce the ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union stated the recent ruling "undermines our Constitution's promise of separation between government and religion."
Reaction to Carson v Makin today shows how an entire generation of progressives have embraced the contradictory thought that it is not discriminatory for the state to discriminate against religious people and institutions in society.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 21, 2022
Following the release of the opinion, former Vice President Mike Pence (and founder of Advancing American Freedom) commented on the matter:
"American families’ ability to choose where their child goes to school should not be based on zip code or income, or dictated by bureaucrats and formulas. We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision today that agrees with Advancing American Freedom’s position, and we will continue our fight to empower parents to determine the best school for their children.”
There are other religious liberty cases that are now easier to challenge and rectify. This decision from the Supreme Court will have lasting impacts, enabling parents to choose the best educational options to meet their children's needs.