Supreme Court Justice Refers to “Jewish-Palestine” Conflict

Supreme Court Justice Refers to

( – On Wednesday, December 8, the US Supreme Court heard a legal challenge to Maine’s ban on state funds for tuition reimbursements for religious schools. In some instances where public education isn’t accessible in rural areas, Maine awards taxpayer funds to pay for non-religious private school tuition. Two families sued after the state denied them tuition assistance, arguing the state violated their religious freedom and equal protection rights.

During questioning by the Justices, the High Court’s newest member committed a faux pas, catching the attention of numerous groups. Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked lawyers for Maine how they would treat a school based on its teachings about the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. Typically, most refer to it as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Barrett’s question sought clarification after one of Maine’s attorneys said the state would also refuse funding to schools speaking out against any particular religion.

Barrett appeared to be attempting to point out an inconsistency in the state’s policy. On the one hand, the state automatically denies funding to religious schools simply because they are religious. On the other hand, the state selectively decides whether a non-religious school can teach about religious issues.

The Conservative justices seemed to suggest Maine’s policies may create an undue burden on Orthodox Jewish parents. Their ruling next spring could profoundly impact religious schools’ rights to receive public funding.

Stay tuned.

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