Saturday, June 8, 2013

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Vouchers

The Indiana Constitution contains two sections that bar tax-raised funds for religious bodies. In March, the State Supreme Court interpreted away both of them to uphold an Indiana voucher law.

Article I, Section 4 says, “No person shall be compelled to…support any place of worship or maintain any ministry, against his conscience.”

The court said, “This clause is a restraint upon government compulsion of individuals to engage in religious practices absent their consent. To limit the government’s taxing and spending related to religious matters, the framers drafted Section 6.”

Article I, Section 6 says “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution.”

The Court held that the vouchers primarily benefited parents and children rather than religious schools. It said, “Any benefit that may be derived by program-eligible schools are ancillary to the benefit conferred on families with program-eligible children.”

The case is Meredith v. Pence.

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