Monday, May 24, 2010

Supreme Court Agrees To Review Arizona Tuition Tax Credit

The U.S. Supreme today agreed to review two consolidated cases involving an Establishment Clause challenge to Arizona's school tuition tax credit program. It granted certiorari in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, (Docket No. 09-987, cert. granted 5/24/2010) and in Garriott v. Winn, (Docket No. 09-991, cert. granted 5/24/2010), consolidating the two cases for a total of one hour of oral argument. (Order List.) The cases were decided in a single opinion below. A 3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit found taxpayer standing and ruled that, as applied, Arizona's tax credit of up to $500 to individuals who contribute funds to nonprofit "school tuition organizations" violates the Establishment Clause. (See prior posting.) The 9th Circuit then denied en banc review, but with 40 pages of opinions. (See prior posting.) SCOTUS Blog has links to the petitions for and opposed to granting cert. and the amicus briefs.