WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 21, 2022) — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that expands access to educational choices for families and ends government discrimination against faith-based schools. In Carson v. Makin, the Court reversed a lower court decision that allowed Maine’s student aid program to exclude faith-based schools, curtailing much-needed educational options for children in the state.
In September 2021, attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center, a national nonprofit law firm, partnered with the American Federation for Children, the nation’s foremost advocacy organization for school choice, to file a joint amicus brief supporting two Maine families who want to use the state’s student aid program to send their children to private schools. LJC and AFC had previously partnered on a brief asking the Court to hear the case during the certiorari stage in March 2021. The briefs both focused on the ways in which families use school choice to enhance diversity in our communities.
Daniel Suhr, managing attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, said, “Today’s decision again recognizes the importance of allowing parents to choose the best educational opportunities for their children and ends archaic religious discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected efforts to block the schoolhouse door for low-income families, and this victory builds on incredible momentum in favor of expanding school choice across the country. The attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center are fighting alongside students, parents and schools to ensure more families have the right to decide what school is best for each child.”
In Carson v. Makin two families asked the U.S. Supreme Court whether prohibiting students from using a state’s student-aid funds to attend schools that include religious instruction violates the U.S. Constitution’s Religion Clauses or Equal Protection Clause. The Liberty Justice Center argued that excluding faith-based schools, which represent two-thirds of all private schools in the U.S., from public funding curtails much-needed options for a wide range of children, including students with special physical or intellectual needs, victims of bullying, tribal students, and children of military families.
Liberty Justice Center’s Amicus Brief, March 11, 2022