What's at Stake
Whether a Maine law that prohibits the use of taxpayer funding for religious instruction at religious schools is constitutional.
To ensure that every child in Maine has access to a free, publicly funded education, school districts without their own public secondary schools may pay the tuition for a student in their district to attend an “approved” private school in the area. Maine law prohibits the use of this funding for religious instruction. Three families in Maine have challenged this restriction, arguing that that the prohibition on tuition assistance for religious education violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
In our amicus brief, filed with the ACLU of Maine, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and numerous religious organizations, we explained that the architects of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment strongly opposed governmental funding for religious teachers and that the Supreme Court has, accordingly, long recognized that states have a strong interest in avoiding funding of religious instruction. We urged the Court to affirm the constitutionality of Maine’s law.
The Court heard oral argument on December 8, 2021.