Supreme Court Hearing Religious Rights Case From Maine

Supreme Court Hearing Religious Rights Case From Maine

( – The constitutionally protected free exercise of religion continues to find itself under fire, particularly in Democratic-led states like Maine. The US Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments about the state’s religious school tuition exceptions in a potential landmark case.

The court heard nearly two hours of arguments against a Maine Department of Education rule excluding religious schools from a state program that provides tuition assistance for private education. Under the program, families who live in municipal districts lacking public schools can receive public tuition funds to enroll their children in private schools of their choosing. But, stunningly, the program excludes private religious schools.

The Supreme Court’s conservative justices appeared inclined to side with the legal arguments favoring the parents who wanted to send their children to religious schools with the help of state dollars.

They seemed unconvinced by Maine’s assertion it was willing to pay for the equivalent of a public education, but not for schooling favoring religious-based teachings. As one might expect, the Court’s Liberal Justices appeared to favor the state’s arguments.

The conservative-led court has ruled in favor of religious liberty in recent cases, and the Maine case could resolve, once and for all, the question of how much state funds private religious schools can access for explicitly religious activities alongside conventional classroom studies.

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