'Espinoza v. Montana' and the Refusal to Provide Public Funds to Religious Schools [January 21, 2020] [open pdf - 659KB]
From the Document: "Can a state refuse to extend public aid to religious schools? The Supreme Court may consider this question in 'Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue,' a case in which oral arguments are scheduled for January 22, 2020. The Montana Supreme Court previously ruled that a state tax credit program that indirectly supported religious schools violated a provision of the Montana constitution prohibiting the state from giving public funds to any religious school. Parents of students that attend religious schools appealed this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the state decision violates the U.S. Constitution by impermissibly discriminating against religion. The case presents significant questions relating to whether these so called 'no-aid' clauses in state constitutions may violate the federal Free Exercise Clause. More generally, the case raises questions about how federal and state governments may structure public aid programs. This Legal Sidebar discusses the legal principles at issue in this appeal--and explains why the Court might not resolve these broader questions, given the somewhat complicated background of this case."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10397
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/