Today, the U.S. Supreme Court left intact a ruling by Maine’s highest court which affirmed the state's right to refuse to subsidize parochial schools with public monies.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a ruling from the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine which upheld a state program that uses public funds to send students in towns without public high schools to private, but not religious, schools. Pro-voucher activists had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling, which was consistent with that of a federal appellate court which had earlier upheld the Maine program. Both cases had been brought by plaintiffs seeking to force the state to use public funds to pay tuition for students at religious schools.
Elliot Mincberg, Legal Director of People For the American Way Foundation, released the following statement:
“Earlier this year, Maine’s highest court correctly held that a state has the right not to use taxpayer money to subsidize religious schools. That decision was soundly based on the Constitution and applicable U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and there was no reason for the Supreme Court to review it.
“The ruling by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court was important for everyone who values religious freedom and quality public education in Maine, and it is good news that this ruling will stand. We’ll continue to advocate for public education in Maine and across the country.”
The case in which the Supreme Court denied certiorari is Anderson v. Durham School Department. Attorneys with People For the American Way Foundation were co-counsel to the intervenor-defendants, who had successfully argued in state court that the Maine tuitioning program was constitutional and urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear the case.