- Liberals criticized the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling that Maine could not prohibit parents from using vouchers to pay for religious schools.
- CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was “breaking down under the conservative majority.”
- Senior leaders of the National Education Association and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State also lambasted the ruling.
Liberals criticized the Supreme Court’s Tuesday ruling that Maine could not prohibit parents from using vouchers to pay for religious schools on cable news and social media.
The Supreme Court ruled in Carson v. Makin that a program that permitted parents in districts without public high schools to use vouchers to pay for private schools unconstitutionally prohibited the use of the vouchers for religious schools. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion in the 6-3 decision. (RELATED: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments On Religious Discrimination Regarding School Choice)
“Historically the court has said if there is government money going to religious institutions, including schools, that is a violation of the Establishment Clause,” CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said. “That idea is breaking down under the conservative majority.”
“I mean, the old law of separation between church and state, which is based on the Establishment Clause, is breaking down,” CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers said. “We’re really seeing that it’s not going to be there, the more and more that this court erodes the Establishment Clause by elevating freedom of religious expression [and] the Free Exercise Clause above the notion of the Establishment Clause.”
Liberals also melted down on social media in the wake of the ruling.
“Somehow taxpayer money NOT going to religious schools violates those schools’ religious rights,” Elie Mystal, the justice correspondent for The Nation, posted on Twitter.
All of these cases, which goes back to Trinity Lutheran, is the immediate result of letting McConnell steal a seat on the Supreme Court. Trinity Lutheran (a case like this) was 4-4 after Scalia died. Garland would have been 5-4 to stop it. Gorsuch was 5-4 to bring us this world.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) June 21, 2022
Mystal said in a follow-up post that the Carson v. Makin ruling and others were a consequence of Senate Republicans blocking Merrick Garland from the Supreme Court after the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016.
“[W]ith its radical ruling in Carson v. Makin, SCOTUS again undermined public schools & the students they serve in favor of funding private religious schools that serve only a few & often discriminate against students & employees,” National Education Association President Becky Pringle tweeted.
All students deserve a great public education.
But with its radical ruling in Carson v. Makin, SCOTUS again undermined public schools & the students they serve in favor of funding private religious schools that serve only a few & often discriminate against students & employees.
— Becky Pringle (@BeckyPringle) June 21, 2022
“Understand, friends, that this type of attack on church-state separation doesn’t just undermine public education,” Rachel Laser, President and CEO of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State tweeted. “It also puts reproductive freedom and justice, LGBTQ equality, racial justice, climate justice and democracy itself all in grave peril.”
Understand, friends, that this type of attack on church-state separation doesn’t just undermine public education. It also puts reproductive freedom and justice, LGBTQ equality, racial justice, climate justice and democracy itself all in grave peril.
— Rachel Laser (@rachelklaser) June 21, 2022
Laser went further in a statement released by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
“This nation was built on the promise of religious freedom, which has always prevented the state from using its taxing power to force citizens to fund religious worship or education,” she said. “Here, the court has violated that founding principle by requiring Maine to tax citizens to fund religious schools. Far from honoring religious freedom, this decision tramples the religious freedom of everyone. Worse, the court has opened the door to government-enforced tithing, an invitation religious extremists will not ignore.”
“This decision recognizes that religious institutions should have equal access to government programs without sacrificing their religious identity and ability to remain true to their mission,” Eric Baxter, Vice President & Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty said.
The NEA, CNN and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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