Maine School Choice - Release: 4-23-1998

Institute to Appeal Tuitioning Decision

WEB RELEASE: April 23, 1998
CONTACT: John Kramer (703) 682-9320
[School Choice]


Washington, D.C. ­Today, the Maine Cumberland County Superior Court ruled against parents who challenged the exclusion of religious schools from Maine's tutitioning program.

"This case is fundamentally about discrimination against religion," said Richard Komer, senior litigator of the Institute for Justice, which represents the families in this case. "The only choice denied to parents is one that would allow them to choose religious schools for the very fact that they are religious. It is hard to imagine a more clear example of discrimination."

"This decision demonstrates why we have appellate courts," said William Mellor, the Institute's president. "We expect to promptly appeal this decision to the Maine Supreme Court."

"The judge applied the wrong standard in this case," Komer said. "The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that our clients do not have to prove that the discrimination burdens their practice of religion. All they have to prove is that the law is discriminatory. Considering that this law singles out the choice of religious schools alone for exclusion, it is hard to see how it is not discriminatory."

The Institute for Justice is a libertarian public interest law firm. Through strategic litigation, training, communications, and outreach, the Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their own destinies as free and responsible members of society. It litigates to secure economic liberty, school choice, private property rights, freedom of speech, and other vital individual liberties, and to restore constitutional limits on the power of government. Through these activities the Institute challenges the ideology of the welfare state and illustrate and extend the benefits of freedom to those whose full enjoyment of liberty is denied by government. The Institute was founded in September 1991 by William Mellor and Clint Bolick.

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