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Supreme Court Rules Maine’s Discrimination Against Religious Schools Unconstitutional

Adopting wholesale the position of Nussbaum Speir Gleason attorneys Andrew Nussbaum and Martin Nussbaum in their amicus brief filed on behalf of renowned constitutional scholar, Professor Michael McConnell, the Supreme Court ruled today that Maine’s discrimination against religious private schools violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause. As the most rural state in the union, Maine permits students to use public funds to attend a private school of their choice. Until today, however, Maine prohibited students from using public funds at “sectarian” (i.e. religious) private schools. The Court today ruled that Maine’s program violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause. The Court explained that Maine’s tuition program “effectively penalizes the free exercise of religion.” The Court also ruled that the Free Exercise Clause does not allow discrimination on the basis of religious uses. “Any status-use distinction lacks a meaningful application not only in theory, but in practice as well,” explained the Court.

Read Nussbaum Speir Gleason’s amicus brief here.

Nussbaum Speir Gleason is one of the nation’s leading full-service private law firms that defends religious institutions and traditionally minded businesses in forums across the country. Read more about the firm at nussbaumspeir.com.

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