This week, the United States Supreme Court ruled on a case that potentially changes the way we will view the separation of church and state going forward. The case of Carson v. Makin revolves around a state of Maine program that allows students to use public funds for their secondary education at the school of their choice if their rural district has not made other arrangements for their public education. There are several districts in Maine that do not have secondary schools because the population would not support a school of their own. Until this week, those funds were limited to nonsectarian schools only. Two families sued, arguing that this was a form of religious discrimination and a violation of the free exercise clause of the Constitution. In a 6-3 decision, the court agreed, finding that the state did not have to allow public funds to be used for private education but that once they did, they could not withhold those funds from religious schools.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11858