The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday in a case about secular aid for public school choice when that school is a religious school.
The question before the court in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is whether the Constitution allows the wholesale exclusion of religious schools from a state scholarship program.
The petitioners argued that the Constitution does not allow the exclusion of religious schools from the program, yet Montana’s Blaine Amendment requires the exclusion of religious schools. In the petitioner’s view, this exclusion violates the Free Exercise Clause in the Constitution.
Much of the time was spent addressing whether the petitioners had the legal right to be in court at all because the scholarship program is no longer in place. Further, the petitioners attempted to analogize to a case where the court held that excluding churches from a program to provide grants to resurface playgrounds violated the Constitution.
A decision from the court is expected by the end of June.