WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded a Supreme Court 6-3 ruling in Carson v. Makin. This case builds upon past Supreme Court rulings, including Trinity Lutheran v. Comer and Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that have upheld the free exercise of religion. This case examined whether Maine violated the religion clauses of the United States Constitution by prohibiting families from using the state’s tuition assistance program at religious schools.
“Once again, the Supreme Court has affirmed that in America, we don’t just have the freedom of worship, we have the freedom to live our faith at work, home, school, and in public,” said Lankford. “Faith-based organizations cannot be prohibited from partnering with their government simply because of their religious identity, that is clear religious discrimination. This is America; the government cannot establish a religion, but it also cannot exclude people of faith from government programs simply because they are religious.
“The Court held today that ‘the State pays tuition for certain students at private schools— so long as the schools are not religious. That is discrimination against religion…. We have repeatedly held that a State violates the Free Exercise Clause when it excludes religious observers from otherwise available public benefits.”