Magazine article The Christian Century

Florida Judge Rules Vouchers Not Legal. (News)

Magazine article The Christian Century

Florida Judge Rules Vouchers Not Legal. (News)

Article excerpt

A Florida circuit court judge has ruled that the state's school-voucher plan is unconstitutional because it promotes religion. Judge Kevin Davey of Leon County said August 5 that Florida's constitution is explicit in saying that tax dollars shall not "be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently that providing taxpayer-funded vouchers to parochial schools doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on establishment of religion as long as parents have a choice between religious and secular options in deciding where to cash in their scholarships.

But many analysts opposed to vouchers contend that a number of states have tighter restrictions. "Regardless of the Supreme Court's ruling on the federal Constitution, the legal issues concerning state voucher laws will depend largely on the language in these individual state constitutions," said Elliot Mincberg, vice president and legal director of People for the American Way Foundation, which is co-counsel to challengers of the 1999 Florida voucher law. …

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