U.S. Supreme Court upholds private education tax credits

UPDATE: From The New York Times on the ruling: The Supreme Court on Monday effectively upheld an Arizona program that aids religious schools, saying in a 5-to-4 decision that the plaintiffs had no standing to challenge it. The program itself is novel and complicated, and allowing it to go forward may be of no particular moment. But by closing the courthouse door to some kinds of suits that claim violations of the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion, the court’s ruling in the case may be quite consequential.

In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court said that plaintiffs objecting to an Arizona tax credit scholarship on the grounds that it amounted to government aid of religious schooling have not been harmed by the program and therefore had no right to sue. The decision in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn overturns a ruling by the Ninth Circuit and is significant in the distinction it draws between direct governmental aid and tax credits for contributions to a cause.

We’ll have more analyses later, but here are reports from Bloomberg and the ABA Journal, as well as an analysis from Andrew Coulson at the Cato Institute.

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BY Adam Emerson

Editor of redefinED, policy and communications guru for Florida education nonprofit