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Friday, July 07, 2017

Supreme Court orders CO, NM courts to revisit private school cases ‘in light of Trinity Lutheran’

The U.S. Supreme Court is ordering lower state courts to reconsider rulings in light of its decision Monday that ruled Missouri’s Blane Amendment violated the U.S. Constitution.

The Blane Amendment, versions of which are included in other state constitutions, specifically prohibits public funds from flowing to religious entities, but the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 on Monday against Missouri using the amendment to block a religious school from participating in a state grant program.

Trinity Lutheran Church sued the state after officials denied its application for a grant program to rubberize school playgrounds, and many school choice proponents believe the Supreme Court decision will have far broader implications for voucher programs nationwide, EAGnews reports.

Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority that “the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualifies, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution … and cannot stand.”

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ordered courts in Colorado and New Mexico to review cases currently pending for appeal in light of Monday’s ruling.

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