Monday, the Supreme Court further limited the power of citizens to challenge government programs as unconstitutionally promoting religion and permitted an Arizona tax credit aimed at helping cover private school tuition.
This ruling is the second under Chief Justice John Roberts that insulates the government against church-state challenges.
In a 5-4 decision, the justices said opponents lacked standing to challenge the program which gives tax credits for donations to organizations that provide private school scholarships. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the conservative majority.
The majority agreed with President Barack Obama’s administration, which had defended Arizona’s program.
Justice Elena Kagan, previously Pres. Obama‘s top lawyer, wrote the dissenting opinion, saying the majority created a “novel distinction” between a tax credit and a government appropriation. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor joined Justice Kagan‘s dissent.
- Supreme Court Gets Around “Establishment of Religion” Prohibition by Allowing Tax Credits for Religious Tuition (themoderatevoice.com)
- Tax Payers Cannot Sue Over Religious Tax Credits (themoderatevoice.com)
- Flast Exception Still Stands (volokh.com)
- Kennedy v. Kagan on Tax Credits (thefacultylounge.org)
- SCOTUS Decision on Standing: Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn (lawprofessors.typepad.com)