Agudath Israel of America has joined an “amicus curiae” (friend of the court) brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of Carson v. Makin, which was brought by parents with children attending religious schools in Maine. Although many private school students in Maine are eligible for state tuition funding, a state law says that the state will not pay tuition for students who attend a religious school.
Agudath Israel argues that the law, which was upheld by the federal district court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals, violates the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution, under several recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, because it prohibits students from accessing an otherwise available student aid program solely because of the religious nature of their school.
Agudath Israel joins the Christian Legal Society and a number of other religious organizations on the amicus curiae brief, which was drafted principally by law professors Douglas Laycock and Thomas Berg.
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Agudath Israel’s Executive Vice President, stated that “Excluding religious school students from a state aid program that benefits other private school students is discriminatory and unconstitutional. We hope that the Supreme Court agrees to hear this case.”