Wisconsin Supreme Court Puts Milwaukee School Plan on Collision Course with U.S. Constitution


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Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in 4-2 decision that Milwaukee’s school voucher program may be extended to include religious schools.

In the lawsuit, Jackson and MTEA v. Benson, People For the American Way Foundation is a plaintiff and co-counsel to the group of parents, taxpayers, and other concerned citizens and groups who oppose the religious school voucher plan. In response to this morning’s ruling, Carole Shields, President of People For the American Way Foundation, issued the following statement:

“This disastrous decision opens the way for millions of dollars of everyone’s taxes to be misused to promote someone else’s religion.

“Separation of church and state is as American as apple pie – and the Wisconsin Supreme Court has just baked a worm into that pie.

“This ruling, which gives the green light to a plan to misroute tax dollars into religious institutions, puts the Milwaukee schools plan on a direct collision course with the U.S. Constitution. This misuse of tax dollars does further harm by draining off money that should be used where most students get their education – in the public schools.

“It runs counter to everything that the First Amendment stands for and we are confident that this ruling is not only improper and unwise, it is also unconstitutional and would not survive a test in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We are now reviewing the ruling in detail and consulting with the other plaintiffs. It is very likely that we will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn this disastrous decision.”