Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Another SCOTUS Win

This is great news:

The Supreme Court rejected a challenge Monday to an Arizona tax break that directs millions of dollars to private religious schools.
The justices, in a 5-4 ruling, said that Arizona taxpayers who filed a lawsuit to block the tax break have no legal claim because they are not forced to contribute to the state program that sends money to the religious schools.

Arizona allows people to donate up to $500 to a tuition scholarship program.  The program has now spent over $350 million funding scholarships for students at private schools, mostly religious ones.  The lawsuit alleged that the use of money for religious schools took money away from the dysfunctional public school monopoly, er, violated the First Amendment.  This struck me as a bit of a reach, since the money isn’t specifically allocated to religious schools nor is it restricted to any particular brand of religious school.  The four liberal justices, of course, sided with big government.

Kagan’s dissent claims this creates a “roadmap” for people to send public funds to religions.  That’s crap.  It’s a roadmap for people to send money to private organizations, some of which may be religious.  She also confounds a tax credit with actual spending—which may become a critical point when PPACA comes to the Court.  This is also legal garbage, since tax credits are a very different beast from government spending.  One is voluntary, one is involuntary.  The objections to the Arizona program and Kagan’s dissent intrinsically posit that all money belongs to government, therefore not taxing it is the same as spending it.  (Interestingly, Kagan took the side opposite from what the Obama Administration argued when the Feds filed an amicus brief in favor of the Arizona program).

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/05/11 at 09:01 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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