- Nov 26, 2020
Meeting in person for oral arguments for the first time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the South Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments Friday over whether Gov. Henry McMaster has the power to direct $32 million in federal pandemic relief funds to private schools.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision that says states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education could breathe new life into efforts to force Maine and Vermont to help fund religious educations.
The Supreme Court elated religious freedom advocates and alarmed secular groups with its Tuesday ruling on public funding for religious education, a decision whose long-term effect on the separation of church and state remains to be seen.
In a 5-4 ruling June 30, the Supreme Court said the exclusion of religious schools in Montana’s state scholarship aid program violated the federal Constitution.
Perhaps thinking in part of Thoreau, the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago once memorably asserted that American Catholics may be denominationally Catholic but they’re culturally Protestant, because Catholicism’s communitarian and hierarchical nature doesn’t sit well with the country’s anti-institutional, libertarian spirit, famously expressed by the American transcendentalist in his musings on Walden Pond.
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared ready Wednesday to reinvigorate a Montana scholarship program and make it easier to use public money to pay for religious schooling in many states.