Committee Public Ed. v. Nyquist: Court Strikes Down Tax Deductions for Parochial Schools

Committee Public Ed. v. Nyquist: Court Strikes Down Tax Deductions for Parochial Schools

Committee for Public Education v. Nyquist

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Argued: Committee for Public Education v. Nyquist — The U.S. Supreme Court will rule that all three sections of a New York law providing, among other things, tax deductions and reimbursements for children in parochial schools, unconstitutional. Although the law did have a secular purpose, it fails the second prong of the Lemon Test because it has the primary effect of furthering religion.

Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. writes in the majority opinion:

"Nothing in the statute, for instance, bars a qualifying school from paying out of state funds the salaries of employees who maintain the school chapel, or the cost of renovating classrooms in which religion is taught, or the cost of heating and lighting those same facilities. ...If the State may not erect buildings in which religious activities are to take place, it may not maintain such buildings or renovate them when they fall into disrepair."

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