Nation's highest court hands major win to religious schools


A Montana program that excluded religious schools from a student aid initiative violates religious freedoms protected under the U.S. Constitution according to a The Supreme Court ruling issued on Tuesday.

In the justice's 5-4 majority decision, which fell along ideological lines, the ruling said that by making state-backed private school scholarships off-limits to parochial schools, the program ran afoul of First Amendment protections for the free exercise of religion, which prohibits the government from treating religious and secular groups differently

Court watchers noted at the center of the dispute is a 2015 tax credit program the Montana legislature passed to promote school choice. Under the plan, taxpayers could receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit by donating up to $150 to organizations that used the donations to award student scholarships to private schools. 


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