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This article reflects the personal opinion of the owners of this web site and does not represent the opinions of anyone else.
Supreme Court hears Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
Case Analysis: Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
We feel that this ruling was based far more on political ideological motives than on established law and/or historical facts. If one doubts tha,t we suggest they examine closely Rehnquist's writings with regards to religion, his dissenting opinions, his one major victory prior to this with regards to aid to religious institutions (Mueller v Allen) , etc., since his arrival on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Once upon a time there was an unofficial rule of thumb to measure how well judges and justices did with regards decisions based on politics and those based on the law and historical precedent.
It was expected that most judges and justices would initially make decisions that would reflect the political philosophies of the party they had been affiliated with and that had appointed them. But as time passed and the position/office/responsibility/tradition actually began to mold and shape them you would find their decisions changing. The desicions would be less and less of one specific political philosophy. They would be less predictable when someone tried to measure them by using political measurements.
On the other hand those judges and justices who continued to rule in the exact same way as they did when they took over the job were said to have never "taken on the mantel" of that job, that is, they never stopped being politicians.
Rehnquist is on record as having said that his thoughts, beliefs, opinions, etc., are the same today as they were when he was quite younger. It is no secret that he is no friend of strict separation of church state.
The conservatives' constitutional history seminars of the 1980's on the meaning of the Establishment Clause were led by Rehnquist--enthusiastically joined by Scalia and Thomas.
Section C. Judicial Politics
Lawyers are reluctant to admit that politics plays any role in judicial decision making. Political scientists, on the other hand, sometimes suggest that little else exists. One of the units within the American Political Science Association that concentrates on the study of law is revealingly called the section on "Judicial Politics." A corresponding unit within the Association of American Law Schools might be called "Judicial Process and Legal Method" or *Jurisprudence.'
Judges reach their position on the bench by a variety of routes. They are
- elected by the public;
- appointed by chief executives;
- designated, nominated, or confirmed by special panels, councils, or commissions; or
- selected by a combination of the above.
This diversity is vivid testimony to the fact that our society has no clear idea of the best way to select the best people for the court. Almost all judges will deny at they can be classified as "liberal" or "conservative" either before or after donning the robe; yet few people hesitate to put them in one of these categories. While it is true that judges use their intellect, integrity, and sense of fairness in writing an opinion, no one knows for sure how that opinion might also be influenced by a Republican or Democratic background, a prior career in law enforcement, or training at a law school that directly or indirectly promotes an activist role for the judiciary, and it would be naive to ignore the fact that this mix of influences does exist. [included in this mix can be public opinion, especially for those judges that are elected.]
It is fascinating to compare the way political scientists study court opinions with the way lawyers study them. There are similarities of approach: for example, both groups closely examine the text of the opinions. Nevertheless, there are differences. Political scientists focus on the background of the judges and on how they reached the court. Lawyers, on the other hand, concentrate more on the opinions themselves and less on the biographies of the judges. Yet both groups would claim that the goals of their study are the same:: an appreciation of the judicial process, an understanding of particular opinions, and an ability to predict how existing opinions might be applied in the future. Does either group have a monopoly over the achievement of these goals? It depends on which of the two groups you ask!
There is another dimension to judicial politics. It is often said that judges do not bargain over their votes with fellow judges in the manner that legislators commonly do over river projects and other pork barrel items in their districts. Yet when a court consists of more than one judge (as is usually the case on our higher courts), the ultimate focus of the debate within the chambers of the court is on votes for or against certain positions and litigants. Judges will always maintain that they cast their votes on the basis of principle, and this in large part is true. However, judges are human beings who spend a good deal of time trying to persuade each other to adopt certain points of view. No one can prove whether or not a measure of accommodation takes place on ,-certain votes, particularly when the judges do not feel the same about the importance of the issue under discussion. It is not inconceivable that Judge Smith will vote a certain way on an issue that this judge does not consider vital in order to encourage Judge Jones (who does consider the issue vital) to vote a certain way on another issue that is critically important to Judge Smith. The opinions, of course, are absolutely silent about such accommodation and judges and lawyers cringe at the suggestion that any of this goes on, or that it is of any significance if it does.
Source of Information:
Case Analysis and Fundamentals of Legal Writing, William P. Statsky and R. John Wernet, Jr. Third Edition, West Publishing Company, (1989) pp 6-7.
Even recent Supreme Court justices have succumbed to the visceral appeal of the maxim [this is a Christian Nation], as was revealed in a 1989 controversy surrounding the Arizona Republican Party's adoption of a resolution proclaiming the United States to be a "Christian nation." Engineered by conservative Christian activists, the resolution declared that America should be "a republic based upon the absolute laws of the Bible, not a democracy based on the changing whims of [the] people." The "Christian nation" resolution would not have received the attention it did, had it not been for the disclosure that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor provided the legal background for the resolution. Justice O'Connor later admitted to supplying the resolution's author with the names of three Supreme Court cases where the high court had reputedly acknowledged America's Christian nationhood. Unbeknownst to a chagrined Justice O'Connor, the contents of her letter were disclosed and served as the basis for the Republican Party resolution. Aside from the issue of judicial indiscretion, the controversy again raised the question of whether America could be considered in any legal sense to be a Christian nation.13
13. "The `Christian Nation' Controversy," The American Lawyer, June 1989, p. 70; Washington Post, March 15, 1989, p. A3; Washington Post, March 16, p. A3; New York Times, March 17, 1989, sec. A, p. 34, col. 1; "Justice O'Connor's Second Indiscretion," New York Times, April 2, 1989, sec. 4, p. 31, col. 2. Only one of the three cases provided, Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892), contains any such declaration.
Source of Information:
The Rhetoric and Reality of the "Christian Nation" Maxim in American Law, 1810-1920 by Steven Keith Green, Esq. A unpublished dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of History. (1997)
Justice Sandra Day O'connor's Confusion by Gene Garman
Also don't forget the stir over the comments O'Connor was overheard making when she thought Gore had been elected President on election night.
From: Paul Stone
Subject: Justice Scalia's Chilling Vision of Religious Authority in America
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 03:52:15 GMT
This guy is one scary dude. How the hell did he ever get on the Supreme Court?
Meanwhile, the legacy of Earl Warren loomed larger. Those who opposed Warren and the "liberal" decisions of his Court expected its successor to rescind or reverse the legal revolution Warren had led. But neither the Burger Court nor its successor, the Court over which the conservative William Rehnquist presided, have rescinded the minimal standards established during the years of Earl Warren. The Burger Court, in large part because its true intellectual leader was William Brennan, remained surprisingly liberal in its decisions. The abortion decision of Roe v. Wade, easily the most controversial opinion since Brown, flowed directly from the right of privacy rulings of the Warren Court. The Rehnquist Court has proved more hostile to the poor, the prisoners, and the luckless petitioners once welcome in the Warren Court. William Rehnquist is not Earl Warren, neither in spirit nor in experience. Over the years, Warren changed his opinions, grew to meet the demands of each new job. In contrast, Rehnquist's views appeared to be "flash frozen" as a young man, unthawed and unchanged since. He himself told an interviewer in 1985, his opinions had not changed over the years. "I can remember arguments we would get into as law clerks in the early fifties. And I don't know that my views had changed much from that time." The Justices under the intellectually rigid Rehnquist have restricted some rights, particularly the right of appeal in federal courts.
Source of Information:
Chief Justice, A biography of Earl Warren, Ed Cray. Simon & Schuster (1997) p 529.
This Headline Is False by Gene Garman
Tearing Down That "Wall of Separation"
You can see how the court has slowly, since Mueller v. Allen, been trying to establish case law precedence so that at some point in time, they can cite those cases as reversing the "no aid to private religious schools" that was stated in Everson as a rule of law. However, do note which doctrines have the longest established Precedence. Also, note how they have had to reach and stretch all directions to make it work for them. For a really good understanding of this "backroom" approach, it is good to read the dissents in those cases.
Cases that were decided under the two doctrines No-Aid-To-Religion or Sacred-Secular Doctrines set forth in Everson [ Under the Rules of law that were set out in Everson, in 1947 through the late 1990 there were over 40 major Establishment clause cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. What follows are only those cases that deal with financial aid to private schools of the k-12 variety or colleges and universities. It should be noted that throughout that time period the U.S. Supreme Court always treated colleges and universities differently than they did k-12 schools.]
The above line of cases led lower courts to time and time again strike down various voucher schemes, some of which were appealed onto the U.S. Supreme Court and are listed in the above list, others that were never appealed beyond that lower court ruling.
Cases that fall under the Equal Treatment Doctrine [ cases of all kinds -- accommodation of religion. Kindly note that cases of all kinds have to be included here, otherwise there are even less cases]:
Agostini v. Felton(1997) and Mitchell v. Helms (2000) were used by this court to overturn Meek v. Pittenger (1975), Wolman v Walter (1977), Grand Rapids v Ball (1985) and Aguilar v Felton (1985). I think you would be hard pressed to find in the 200 + year history of the U.S. Supreme Court another example whereby the court used two cases to overturn four of its previous rulings in a period of three years.
But even as the above "new precedence" was being railroaded through, lower courts were still using the established precedence of no-aid-to-religion to strike down various voucher schemes.
In 1947, Everson v Bd of Ed defined the Establishment Clause, but the majority of that court actually ruled the direct opposite.
Rules of Law in Regards to the Establishment Clause from Everson v Bd of Ed
The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this:
(1) Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church.
(2) Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.
(3) Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.
(4) No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance.
(5) No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.
(6) Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa.
In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation" between church and State.
Source of Information:
Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947); Constitutional Law, Third Edition, John E. Nowak, Ronald, D. Rotunda, J. Nelson Young, Hornbook Series, West Publishing Co. (1986) pp. 1030-1067; Blond's Constitutional Law, By Neil C. Blond, Revised Edition, 1993, Sulzburger & Graham Publishing, Ltd. p. 391; Emanuel Law Outines, Constitutional Law, Steven L. Emanuel, Fifteenth Edition, Emanual Publishing, (1997-98) pp. 684-85
Rules of law #2 and #5 make up the NO-AID-TO-RELIGION-DOCTRINE (1947) and is summed up as follows: no government aid may be given in support of religion, even aid given not to any one religious group but in support of religion generally.
At the same time with the same decision (Everson v Bd of Education) a second legal doctrine was established and that doctrine is called the SACRED-SECULAR DOCTRINE (1947).
This can be summed up by saying it is a distinction between programs that would contribute "money to the schools" or would "support them" and those that were "indisputably marked off from the religious function."
Three additional principles that are used as guidelines to help judges determine if the no-aid-to-religion rule would be violated are:
The three-part Lemon Test
No Aid to Pervasively Sectarian Institutions
Indirect Aid being more acceptable than Direct Aid
Source of Information:
A composite of information from When Sacred and Secular Mix, Religious Nonprofit Organizations and Public Money, By Stephen V Monsma, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc (1996) p. 29-46
[Another] legal doctrine important to note in order to understand Supreme Court jurisprudence as it relates to aid to nonprofit, religiously based K-12 schools is the principle that public money given to schools indirectly through parents or students does not carry the same connotation of state support or endorsement of religion as does money given directly to schools. RIn 1983 the Court approved a Minnesota program of limited tax credits for all parents who had incurred expenses in the education of their children, whether in the form of tuition payments for children attending nonpublic schools or supplementary charges or incidental expenses for children attending public schools...
Source of Information:
When Sacred and Secular Mix, Religious Nonprofit Organizations and Public Money, By Stephen V Monsma, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc (1996) p. 33 )
In summary, there is a recent, developing strain within the Supreme Court's jurisprudence that runs parallel to the no-aid-to-religion line of reasoning. It would allow limited forms of governmental accommodation and assistance-even financial assistance-to religious groups and their activities as long as that assistance was offered equally to all religious groups and to religious and nonreligious groups on the same basis. This line of reasoning has thus far been used only in cases involving the question of the private expression of religious views and whether or not the establishment clause is violated when government in some way accommodates or assists in the expression of those views. Thus it has not directly challenged the no-aid-to-religion line of reasoning as it applies to nonprofit, public service organizations of the sort with which this study is concerned.
Nevertheless, the equal-treatment strain carries clear implications for religious organizations that receive public funds. When religious groups may not be excluded from participating in public programs or activities in which all other nonreligious groups are participating-even without giving up or segregating the deeply religious aspects of their programs--clearly the no-aid-to-religion principle and the sacred-secular and pervasively sectarian distinctions are being ignored, if not challenged. This can most clearly be seen in the Rosenberger case, which involved financial assistance to a Christian student publication by a state university. The four dissenting justices clearly saw that the no-aid-to-religion principle and the sacred-secular distinction under which religious groups have sometimes been permitted to receive public funds were being undermined by that decision. They wrote: "Even when the Court [in the past] has upheld aid to an institution performing both secular and sectarian functions, it has always made a searching enquiry to ensure that the institution kept the secular activities separate from its sectarian ones, with any direct aid flowing only to the former and never the latter." They went on to advocate the continued reliance on "the no-direct-funding principle" over "the principle of evenhandedness" of funding.
Whether this new, equal-treatment line of reasoning on the Supreme Court will ever become the settled law of the land and be expanded to apply to public service nonprofit organizations receiving public funds is uncertain. Two strains of reasoning are today running parallel to each other on the Supreme Court and vying for dominance. One or the other may win out in the future, or an accommodation between the two may be found.
Nevertheless, the no-aid-to-religion line of reasoning is the longer, more fully established strain and only it has thus far been applied to the types of nonprofit service organizations with which this study is concerned. Thus I will largely assume it is the existing law, while also taking into account where appropriate the newer, parallel equal-treatment strain.
Source of Information:
When Sacred and Secular Mix, Religious Nonprofit Organizations and Public Money, By Stephen V Monsma, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc (1996) Pages 44-45)
In the Zobrest case, the Court, for the first time, authorized a public employee to participate in sectarian education on the premises of a parochial school.
Certainly Rehnguist's majority opinion contained language that helps the parochial campaign, especially his undisguised applause for the Mueller [for which he wrote the majority opinion] and Witters precedents. Those two cases had endorsed government programs which directly helped individuals. They allowed financial benefits to flow indirectly to parochial schools, if those benefits resulted from private choices of parents or students.
But future Supreme Court approval of parental voucher programs remained doubtful for three reasons:
First, Rehnquist's opinion was narrow. It distinguished the task of a sign-language interpreter from that of a teacher or guidance counselor and continued to prohibit public employees from teaching or advising any students in religious schools.
Second, the major purpose of voucher programs is to aid parochial schools, which would be more than mere "incidental" beneficiaries.
Third, the replacement of Justice White by Ginsburg is expected to shift the balance in church-state cases on the closely divided court. The evidence, though sparse, suggests she is a more consistent separationist than White.
Source of Information:
A Year in the Life of the Supreme Court, Edited by Rodney A. Smola, Duke University Press, (1995) p 140
Sometime in the future, some justice will point to this very ruling as establishing precedence that he or she will use as the authority to enlarge government involvement, access, interference, control over private religious schools and quite possibly religion itself.
Remember, the nature of government, those politicians in government is to protect their turf and try and expand that turf.
This was a danger the founders also were well aware of.
All the charges that the Radical Religious Right, the ultra Conservatives, the more radical libertarians, and others of like mind have made in the past are now going to come around and bite them on their butts.
Charges such as liberal justices/judges, liberal courts, political motivated judges and justices,
Courts overturn their own rulings, 5-4 rulings aren't very strong or sturdy, etc.
If anyone has studied the history of Church/state in this country, in depth, from the 1600s to the present they will find that what is happening in the present has happened time and time again in the past. They will find a steady movement, albeit, sometimes very slow, sometimes very rocky, sometimes there were major or minor set backs, but nonetheless, steady process of moving away from church (religion) and state (government) unions. Movement from Accommodation and towards strict separation.
This is a set back. No doubt about it. However, like always in the past, the current political climate will once again change at some point in the future, the make up of the courts will once again shift to the center and even to the left at some point in the future and this issue will be revisited again at some time in the future. On that you can bank.
Today it is law. However, it doesn't require any state to create and/or institute a voucher system. It doesn't say that all voucher systems would be constitutional.
It falls into the same category as another very questionable U.S. Supreme Court decision, that is currently law, that was political and can be shown to be a incorrect and very bad decision: Marsh V. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983)
But tomorrow will come as well and the day after that and so on, and the day it gets revisited will also come. After all, Rehnqust is on record as having said that 5-4 decisions are ripe for reversal. Most of those that define this "Equal treatment Doctrine" are of the 5-4 variety.
It is a shame that politics do enter into such, that court rulings are not based on actual facts, on law, etc. There are court rulings that are based on a judge or justice's own political philosophy. Not all, of course, but some. There are those judges and justices that move beyond the politics that placed them on the bench, judges and justices that allow the allow the tradition, importance, of the position they have been appointed to, the public trust bestowed on them by their appointment to take hold and they move away from party politics. They immerse themselves into law and serve it instead of political parties, philosophies, and petty politics.
A few things that people have to bear in mind.
(1) The recent U. S. Supreme Court decision did not automatically give a green light to vouchers. Not all voucher schemes will pass constitutional muster. The ruling did not say any and all voucher schemes are now constitutional
(2) While some recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings did overturn previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the area of aid to religious schools, etc, Nyquist has not been overturned, nor has a few others. Thus they still stand as "good law."
(3) The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling did not require states to pass voucher plans.
(4) The battlefield has shifted now to the states. Vouchers have not fared well when voters have been given the chance to vote on such. They have been rejected by voters by something like 65% of those voting in every instance, but one since the late 1960s. We are talking about almost 20 instances when voters in various different states were given the opportunity to actually vote on the issue of vouchers. Even when voters have been bypassed and lawmakers have tried to pass voucher plans, such plans have frequently been defeated in the state legislatures.
(5) Not all plans that might emerge from a state legislature will pass constitutional muster with regards to the state constitution or the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
(6) The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling pertains to that particular plan.
(7) School vouchers shifts battle to states: Despite Court Ruling, Voucher Schemes Will Still Face Major Hurdles
(8) Case Analysis: Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
This was a politically motivated ruling. That is one fact that can be documented. Rehnquist, Scalia and even Thomas has left far too big of a paper trail. See above for just some of that evidence.
But then how does that saying go, absolute power corrupts absolutely. When they have so much contempt for the American people, why should they worry about hiding their motives?
However, the issue is far from being settled. This ruling by a politically motivated court does not erase 200+ years of history. Those five conservative justices (Rehnquist has already shown how flawed his perception of history is in some of his previous dissents) can elect to ignore it, they can elect to place inaccurate spins on it but that does not erase or change historical facts such as the following:
Madison's vetoes: Some of The First Official Meanings Assigned to The Establishment Clause
A Bill Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion (1784)
James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance (June,1785)
Jefferson's Bill for Religious Freedom (Passed December, 1785)
Excerpts from James Madison's Detached Memoranda (written after 1817)
Some additional info on Madison's "Detached Memoranda"
What is significant with respect to the date of its writing is the Madison's "Detached Memoranda" interprets the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and, unlike the Declaration of Independence, does not rest exclusively on the laws of nature or nature's God, on Madison's own "Memorial and Remonstrance," or on Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, although all are reported, confirmed, and defended. It would seem, therefore that the "Detached Memoranda" would be the best source for determining the intended meaning of the "religion" clauses of the First Amendment (and the provision of article VI of the Constitution forbidding religious test for public office) at least by the primary draughtsman of both the Constitution and First Amendment.
The "Detached Memoranda" considers eight issues relating to religion that have reached the Supreme Court in one way or another since the Constitution was adopted: (1) ecclesiastical monopolies; (2) incorporation of churches; (3) grants of public land to churches; (4) tax exemption of religious entities; (5) the Deity in government documents; (6) congressional chaplaincies; (7) military chaplaincies; and (8) religious proclamations by the government.
Pfeffer, Leo, Madison's "Detached Memoranda": Then and Now. The Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom, Its Evolution and Consequences in American History, Edited by Merrill D. Peterson and Robert C. Vaughan, Cambridge University Press (1988) pp 286-87
Faith-Based Charities unconstitutional, says the father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights
Historical Data Against "Vouchers"
Study Guide for Vouchers
Supreme Court hears Zelman v. Simmons-Harris
AS WELL AS:
Study Guide for Separation of Church and State
A Study Guide for the Words/Concept: "Separation of Church and State"
Study Guide: What is "Establishment?"
Establishment, Part I
Establishment, Part II
Establishment, Part III
Establishment, Part IV
Establishment, Part V
Thus, the historical record remains intact for future use when the political climates once again change
This ruling by a politically motivated court does not change the overwhelming rejection by American voters of vouchers each time they were offered to them on ballots. Overwhelming rejection for 30+ straight years.
Just as school prayer, abortion, evolution, Ten Commandments and a host of other things are still being pushed by the Right, even after each of those have been established by the courts as law, vouchers will still be fought over by those who believe, as did that founders of this nation, that financial aid (the use of public funds to aid religion) to religion constituted an establishment of religion.
Also working in favor of the issue of vouchers being revisited at some point in the future are the following.
(1) The far religious right may very well sour on vouchers as they begin to realize that the bulk of the money is going to be going to Catholic Schools. Regardless of any surface appearances, the bad blood that has existed between Protestants and Catholic for several centuries still simmers beneath the surface. One only needs to look back at the recent uproar in Congress over the appointment of a Catholic to be Chaplain.
(2) The far religious right may very well sour on vouchers as schools that are "unacceptable" to them begin to spring up and get their hands on that money. This has already shown itself to be the case with regards to baby Bush's faith based charities plans. There was a very noticeable cooling on the part of many of the nationally known leaders of the Radical Religious Right when they realized that sects, churches, etc they didn't "approve" of would be eligible for moneys.
(3) As private schools fail to produce promised results the support for them will wain.
(4) As scandals, etc erupt (and they will, they have in Milwaukee) interest will wain.
(5) As the government becomes more and more intrusive in the affairs of private religious schools, and it will, those schools will become less and less interested. It will take such schools awhile to realize just how much they have sold out in quest of that magic dollar, but realize it they will, in time. As discrimination and other such evils become more evident, the government will be forced or will willingly move more and more into regulating and demanding of those schools.
Some thoughts on this:
There is simply no possibility that Catholic education can receive substantial public assistance and that the church can at the same time maintain complete control and direction of its schools. The reception of public monies inevitably involve public supervision or control. . . .
The greatest danger for Catholic schools is not that they may fail to secure public assistance, but that in order to receive such aid they may secularize themselves piecemeal in the process.
Monsignor Thomas J, Curry
[Thomas Mahoney wrote in alt.politics.usa.constitution, Subject: Re: Court approves state subsidy for theology student on Mon, 29 Jul 2002]
I think many on the religious right fail to comprehend that the Separation of Church and State is as much for the protection of religion(s), as it is for keeping religion(s) from interfering in State matters.
Precisely. They fail to understand something that the founders fully knew. There have been times in history when the state used, interfered in and controlled religion to its advantage and to the disadvantage of religion and the masses. There have been times when religion used, interfered in and controlled the state to its advantage and the disadvantage of the state and the masses. Finally, there have been times they each used, interfered in and controlled other thus gaining some mutual benefit but disadvantage to the masses. However, sooner or later in this so called mutual benefit one or the other subdues the other and emerges on top.
Madison talked about the greater the purity of both, religion and government when they are separated.
They fail to understand that where government money goes, so goes the government sooner or later.
. . . The Supreme Court case of Grove City College v. Bell (1984) is relevant here. It established the principle that is a college receives government aid, even if it flows to the college indirectly by way of aid to students attending the college, the college is subject to certain federal civil rights regulations. The case dealt with Grove City College in Pennsylvania, a religiously based college that had accepted no government grants, but did have some students who had received grants under federal scholarship programs. The college claimed it did not have to comply with Title IX anti-sex discrimination provisions by filing an assurance of compliance. The Supreme Court ruled against the college, holding that although "federal funds are granted to Grove City's students rather than directly," the college was considered to be "receiving federal financial assistance,"55 as defined by the act, and was subject to the act's reporting requirements. The Court went on to hold, however, that the requirements apply not to the college as a whole as the Department of Education had insisted, but only to the college's student financial assistance program.
In 1988 Congress overturned the aspect of this decision that held the anti-discrimination provisions of the civil rights law apply only to the office or program of the college receiving public funds. 16 The 1988 act made clear that if any financial aid is received by a college or university, all of its programs and offices are barred from practicing discrimination as defined by federal law. Thus, under existing law a college or university that receives any federal government money, either directly by way of grants or indirectly by way of student aid, is subject to federal anti-discrimination laws.
55 Grove City College v. Ball, 465 U.S. at 569 (1984)
Source of Information:
Monsma, Stephen, V. When Sacred and Secular Mix, Religious Nonprofit Organizations and Public Money. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (1996) pp. 45-46
Government intrusion like that which is shown above can applied to K-12 schools as easily as colleges and universities and can cover a far wider range of areas than that which was shown above.
The current U.S. Supreme Court ruling with regards to vouchers will be cited by some future court as precedence to allow the government more access, more intrusion, more interference, more control into the affairs of that school, and possibly even the religious body that runs that school.
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