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Washington Post Agrees with ADF on School Choice

By Gregory S. Baylor posted on:
October 17, 2017

The Washington Post editorial board agrees with ADF that Arizona's school choice tax credit is constitutionally permissible.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. WinnArizona gives a limited tax credit to individuals and married couples who make charitable gifts to "school tuition organizations" (STOs), which in turn make grants to families of students attending private K-12 schools (including religious ones).  Taxpayers represented by lawyers affiliated with the ACLU challenged the credit, claiming it violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion").

The key line in the Posteditorial:  "The program is driven by a series of private choices that do not involve the government."  This is exactly correct.  Private individuals and groups choose to form STOs.  Private individuals choose whether to donate to STOs and, if so, which STO to support.  The STOs themselves (which are private) decide which families should receive scholarships.  And parents choose what schools their children will attend.

When all is said and done, the plaintiffs and their lawyers simply do not like how private citizens have exercised their freedom.  The Washington Post is correct that this doesn't amount to a constitutional violation.

Gregory S. Baylor

Gregory S. Baylor

Director of Center for Religious Schools, Senior Counsel for Government Affairs

Gregory S. Baylor serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is the director of the Center for Religious Schools and Senior Counsel for Government Affairs.

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