“The court’s conservative justices are also more than willing to ignore the plain language of the Constitution itself when they see fit,” she wrote. The court, Stohr wrote, used “one part of the First Amendment to override another” and ignored parts of the Constitution the court doesn’t like.
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Maine tuition program violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment because it excluded religious schools.
“Maine’s ‘nonsectarian’ requirement for its otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the Carson v. Makin opinion. “Regardless of how the benefit and restriction are described, the program operates to identify and exclude otherwise eligible schools on the basis of their religious exercise.”
“It’s only the latest nail in the coffin of the Establishment Clause, a crucial priority of the Founders, who sought to avoid the state-sponsored religion of the nation from which it broke,” the author wrote.
She highlighted Justice Stephen Breyer’s and Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissents. “This Court continues to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build,” Sotomayor wrote.
“Under Roberts’s reasoning, in the court’s view, just about any rule seeking to put distance between government sponsored activities and religion can be deemed to run afoul of the Constitution. And religious rights groups are counting on that,” the Boston Globe columnist wrote.