The Supreme Court has denied cert in a case appealed from the Maine Supreme Court involving the question of whether a state school voucher program could deny the use of those vouchers for religious schools. Maine has a great many towns too small to have their own public school system, so they have a state voucher program, but the program is restricted to non-religious private schools. The Maine Surpeme Court upheld the program and an appeal was filed, but the denial of cert means the Supreme Court won’t hear the case.
I’m a little surprised at this, and a little disappointed. I thought there was a decent chance that the Court would take the case and use it to overturn Locke v Davey. I don’t think it’s constitutional to place such limits on a generally applicable benefit, any more than you can tell someone who receives food stamps that they can’t cook a meal for a church potluck or to celebrate a seder. And yes, I know that puts me at odds with many of my allies on other subjects. I can almost feel the harsh glare of Kathy Miller as I type this.
Hat tip to Howard Friedman, who is an invaluable daily source of links on church/state cases.