In Bishop of Charleston v. Adams, the Liberty Justice Center seeks to prevent South Carolina officials from using a long-standing discriminatory law to deny independent and religious schools access to federal COVID relief funds.
The following article by The Editorial Board appeared on August 2, 2021 on wsj.com.
A federal lawsuit in South Carolina is taking direct aim at one of the state’s uglier legacies: the Blaine Amendment embedded in its state constitution. Blaine Amendments are a relic of 19th-century prejudice, and meant to deny public funding for religious (read: Catholic) schools. More recently the state Supreme Court invoked the state’s Blaine language to throw out Gov. Henry McMaster’s plan for grants of up to $6,500 that could be applied to tuition at private and religious schools.
No surprise that the suit against the program was brought by a coalition that included the South Carolina Education Association, a school district and union allies. But now the opposition is fighting back in federal court. In Bishop of Charleston v. Adams, the plaintiffs—the bishop plus South Carolina’s Independent Colleges and Universities—argue that the state’s Blaine Amendment is unconstitutional and has its roots in Benjamin “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman.
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