Supreme Court Hears School Voucher Case

February 20, 2002

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On February 20, 2002, The Christian Science Monitor reported that "by focusing on the concept of government neutrality toward religious groups rather than mandating a hands-off relationship between church and state, the [Supreme] Court has blurred the line barring tax revenues from flowing to faith-based schools... Today, the nation's highest court takes up a case involving a school-voucher program in Cleveland that could produce a landmark decision, extending even further the court's doctrine of neutrality... The justices are being asked to determine whether school vouchers violate the separation of church and state by using tax dollars to send public-school students to private religious schools. If upheld, the case could open the door to substantial amounts of taxpayer money flowing to private religious schools across the country... Such a development could dramatically change the structure of public education in America, empowering and enriching private religious schools... Even more significant, it would mark a further evolution in the court's approach to the First Amendment's establishment clause, opening the door to a new era of partnership between government and religion, from aid to parochial schools to government support for a wide range of faith-based initiatives favored by the Bush administration."