Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue - (Supreme Court oral argument January 22, 2020)

Docket for 18-1195 (Supreme Court docket #18-1195)

Issue : Whether it violates the religion clauses or the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution to invalidate a generally available and religiously neutral student-aid program simply because the program affords students the choice of attending religious schools.

The issue of “Blaine Amendments” has finally come before the Supreme Court and oral arguments will occur on January 22, 2020. Unfortunately, I expect that the Supreme Court will rule for Petitioner Espinoza, thus invalidating Blaine Amendments in every state.

Yes, Blaine Amendments were adopted in the 1870’s and 1880’s to prevent public funds from going to Catholic schools. But a measure adopted with a nefarious motive can morph into a positive good over time.

At the time of the adoption of the Blaine Amendments, public schools were under Protestant control for the most part and used Protestant material. Today, the public schools have been freed of Protestant control and the Blaine Amendments work equally against Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Pagans, Wiccans, etc.

Blaine Amendments remain popular today. In 2012, Florida voters rejected an attempt to remove the Florida Blaine Amendment, with 56% voting against the measure and thus in support of the Blaine Amendment. Efforts elsewhere to remove Blaine Amendments have met with defeat at the polls.

People do not want public money going to religion and their votes reflect this sentiment.

I would rule for the Respondent Montana Department of Revenue.

If the Blaine Amendments does fall, than we need to work to shut off a programs that divert tax money from the public schools, regardless of what kind of institution receives the money. A blanket ban of public money to all outside institutions would remain legal regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in this case and would ensure that not a cent of public money falls into the hands of a religious based institution.

I am NOT the greatest supporter of the public education lobby, to be sure. However, I am far less a supporter of public money going to religion of any sort.

And again, regardless of their original motivation, Blaine Amendments work equally against ALL religions, not just Catholicism.

Interesting, thank you.

Some people of course argue that public money going to religious institutions for non-religious purposes is perfectly fine.

However those same people will go into a thread about Planned Parenthood and argue that because PP gets public money through medicare, anti-pregnancy programs, cancer screenings and other non abortion related dollars that that money is actually used to fund abortion since it may defray other costs.

Wouldn’t public money going to religious organizations for non-religious purposes also defray other costs and there be public financing of religion?

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How does this relate to the “voucher” program where an amount of public money, can be directed to the school of the student’s choice they’ll be attending?

If they rule for Espinoza it will be proof positive the SCOTUS has become agenda driven to the right.

Just to note, the school has to accept them (Public or Private) having a voucher does not mean a student can attend a specific school

Yes but…if the school is a school that is related to a church, currently…they can accept these vouchers and be paid. Does this negate that?


Good point. Just like federal money defraying healthcare costs for illegals.

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One case?

Not just any case. A case of government being involved in religion.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :sunglasses: lib logic :sunglasses: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Nothing “lib” about it.

You support the govt. paying tuition to religious schools? Muslim schools perhaps?

Let’s start with the faulty premise that it’s the governments money and go from there. No, I have no problem if government allows its citizens to use money earmarked for their childrens’ education at a private religious school. Which of the two institutions, between government run public schools and private religious schools get better results? And no, it does not constitute a government endorsed religion to allow them to use that money at any accredited religious school, only if they started picking and choosing which schools qualified based on their particular religion would it be one.

Taxpayers paying tuition, same thing, let’s not get into semantics.

Taxpayers have made their opinions clear in vote after vote supporting such laws and they don’t want to pay religious tuitions. Like I said, nothing “lib” about it.

It’s not a case of government being involved in religion.

I support school choice.

Have you given up your penchant for letting each state decide for themselves?

It’s a tenuous connection I’ll grant that.

I fail to see what how people vote on the issue has to do with it’s actual constitutional standing. That some voters don’t want their tax money used for that purpose has no actual bearing on whether it is unconstitutional to do so.

…but healthcare for illegals is different…amirite?