Category Archives: SCOTUS

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of School Choice!

Today, in a long-awaited ruling on state Blaine Amendments, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of three Montana mothers who wished to enroll their children in religious schools with the assistance of a scholarship.


Oral Arguments in the Montana School Choice Case are Today

Today, in fact right now, the United States Supreme Court is scheduled to finally hear the oral arguments in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which the Court agreed to hear back in June of last year. In 2015, lawmakers in Montana passed a school choice program that provided a state tax credit for private donations made to non-profit K-12 scholarship granting organizations. The following year, the program was halted by overzealous regulators at the state’s department of revenue who invoked the Montana constitution’s Blaine Amendment to bar scholarship recipients from using these funds at religious schools. A group of plaintiffs comprised of three mothers wishing to send their children to religious private schools challenged the Department of Revenue rule and so began the case now before the Supreme Court. The parents’ argument was that the rule that effectively invalidate the program was unconstitutional under both the Montana and the United States Constitutions as it violated their right to free exercise of religion. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer not long prior, the Montana State Supreme Court ended the program. The case being heard today aims to answer the issue of whether […]


Trinity Lutheran Gets Its Day in Court

This week is a big week in the world of education law. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up its first case related to state constitutional Blaine clauses. We talked about these ugly little pieces of constitutional language in some detail last week when I highlighted the Independence Institute’s new paper, Blaine’s Shadow: Politics, Discrimination, and School Choice. Check out that paper if you need some historical background on Blaine clauses and what they mean for education today. Before you ask, the court isn’t considering the Dougco voucher case tomorrow. We’re still waiting to find out whether SCOTUS will hear that one. Instead, the high court will hear oral arguments in Trinity Lutheran v. Pauley, which deals with a Blaine-related case out of Missouri. We’ve talked about that case in passing over the year or so since I wrote about it in detail, but a refresher is probably in order. From my previous post: Here’s the skinny: Missouri runs a program under which organizations can apply to the state for grants. That’s not unusual. But here’s the trick: these “grants” do not come in the form of money. They come in the form of scrap rubber. That rubber is used […]