A Case For Supreme Court To End Religious Discrimination In Michigan Public Schools

Michigan parents want access to the states education savings program to ease tuition costs at private and parochial schools.

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On November 6, 2023, in Hile v. Michigan, the Sixth Circuit upheld a Michigan state constitutional amendment barring government funding to private schools. The plaintiffs—parents hoping to send their children to private religious schools—have filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the Sixth Circuit failed to recognize the anti-religious origins of Michigan’s amendment.

Professor Nicole Garnett, Ilya Shapiro, and Tim Rosenberger filed an amicus brief in support of the parents’ cert petition. As detailed in a Manhattan Institute blog post, they argue that Michigan’s provision is an unconstitutional Blaine Amendment and “explore the pernicious history” of these amendments. They further warn that if the Court allows the Hile decision to stand, states will be able to bypass existing jurisprudence against religious discrimination in state funding under the guise of “‘neutral’ constitutional provisions that prohibit funding to secular and religious schools alike.”

Even so, the trio points out that Hile may also represent a prime opportunity for the Court to “put a stop to this type of anti-religious discrimination” once and for all.

Mason Rivers Laney writes for the Federalist Society

Topic tags:
Michigan United States Education Religion Children