The Corner

Law & the Courts

The Implications of Espinoza

The Supreme Court’s decision today in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue was an important victory for school-choice programs.

The majority opinion declared that a state “need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

Diana Verm, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, tells National Review the decision has implications beyond school-choice scholarships:

There are all sorts of ways religious groups partner with the government. This means that governments can no longer use Blaine Amendments as the excuse to discriminate against groups that do good work because they are religious, including groups that shelter the homeless, prison ministries that fight recidivism, and soup kitchens and hospitals that serve the poor.

This is a great decision for religious freedom. Blaine Amendments, and their limits on free exercise, have been used to chill government partnerships with religious groups broadly, and schools specifically. As we grapple with discrimination around the country, we are grateful the Supreme Court took a strong stance against religious discrimination and anti-Catholic bigotry.

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