Supreme Court Threatens Students And First Amendment

Press Release


Church and State, Education

Press Contact

Carolyn Bobb

WASHINGTON, DC, June 30, 2020 – This morning the Supreme Court ruled in the case Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that if a state funds private schools or education programs, it must also fund religious school programs. The decision effectively overturns 37 states’ constitutions prohibiting state funding to sectarian institutions. This decision not only undermines the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, but further endangers public school funding.

Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court’s conservatives just dealt a heavy blow to public education and the separation of church and state. By not only allowing — but requiring — states to fund religious schools if they fund private education, the Court is diminishing funding for public schools. Moreover, students from religious minorities not represented by the sectarian schools in their state will face even more obstacles to obtaining an equitable education.

It is little surprise that Trump’s appointees joined this decision. Senate Republicans have confirmed Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and scores of other judges like Steven Menashi, who helped orchestrate Betsy DeVos’s attacks on students’ rights at the Department of Education, with atrocious records on access to public education. Alliance for Justice stands in solidarity with the teachers and administrators who will dedicate even more of their own time and resources to overcoming these new obstacles in providing the nation’s youth with the education they deserve.”