The court ruled that Maine can't exclude families in areas without public high schools from using state-provided tuition money for sectarian education.
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that state programs providing money for public school tuition cannot exclude schools that offer religious instruction.
The decision relaxed long-standing restrictions on using taxpayer money to pay for religious education, further lowering the wall of separation between church and state.
The vote was 6-3, with Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting.
At issue was a state program in Maine that made taxpayer money available to families who live in remote areas without public high schools. Under the state law, they could use the money for their children's tuition at public or private schools in other communities, but not for sectarian schools, defined as those that promote a particular faith or belief system and teach material “through the lens of this faith.”
Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said Maine’s program “promotes stricter separation of church and state than the federal Constitution requires.”.............