Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Supreme Court Remands School Aid Cases For Reconsideration In Light of Trinity Lutheran Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday, in light of its decision this week in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, sent back to the lower courts for reconsideration school aid cases from Colorado and New Mexico.  All the cases remanded involved reliance on state Blaine amendments to invalidate aid to religious schools.  In three consolidated cases from Colorado, the Court granted certiorari, vacated the judgments below, and remanded to the Supreme Court of Colorado for further consideration. The Colorado cases are Doyle v. Taxpayers for Public Education, (Docket No. 15-556), Douglas City School District v. Taxpayers for Public Education,  (Docket No. 15-557), and Colorado State Board of Education v. Taxpayers for Public Education, (Docket No. 15-558). (June 27, 2017 Order List).  In the cases, the Colorado Supreme Court struck down Douglas County's elaborate Choice Scholarship Pilot Program. (See prior posting.)

In New Mexico Association of Nonpublic Schools v. Moses, (Docket No. 15-1409), the Supreme Court also granted certiorari, vacated the judgment and remanded to the Supreme Court of New Mexico for further consideration. In the case, the New Mexico Supreme Court struck down a New Mexico statute that allows the state to lend secular textbooks to private and parochial school students. (See prior posting.)