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US Supreme Court agrees to take up case on Montana school-choice tax credit

Friday, Jun 28, 2019
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday to take up Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which addresses the question whether states may oust parents and children from neutral benefit programs because they choose a religious private school:

“States cannot base laws on hostility to religion. Likewise, no provision of Montana’s constitution can enshrine hostility to religion into state law. We commend the Supreme Court for taking this case. The court’s recent Trinity Lutheran decision, which the Montana Supreme Court entirely ignored, clearly should apply here. As the U.S. Supreme Court unequivocally reaffirmed in that decision, states cannot impose ‘special disabilities on the basis of religious views or religious status.’ The high court should not allow the dead hand of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry, which motivated the state constitutional provision at issue here, to put a stranglehold on educational resources desperately needed by parents and their children.”

ADF filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case on behalf of Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization in support of petitioners on April 15. It asked the court to hear the case and strike down the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling, which invalidated a tax credit of up to $150 for donating to student scholarship organizations because students and parents who receive those funds might use them at a religious school.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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