1. Religion, Schools and the Supreme Court, By The Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2022, Pg. A16, Editorial Chief Justice John Roberts delivered another opinion Tuesday that might inspire religious believers to thank God for the First Amendment. Some parts of Maine, which is the nation’s most rural state, don’t operate their own high schools. Rather, they send tuition money to the school of the family’s choice. But religious schools are specifically excluded.  Justice Breyer leans on the First Amendment’s promise of “no law respecting an establishment of religion.” He says America has more than 100 religions today, from Baptist to Humanist. He worries the majority’s view might stir up the “social conflict” that he says the Establishment Clause was meant to calm. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a separate solo dissent, argues that the majority’s rule “requires States in many circumstances to subsidize religious indoctrination with taxpayer dollars.” Yet as Chief Justice Roberts says, Maine could always choose another policy. “It could expand the reach of its public school system, increase the availability of transportation, provide some combination of tutoring, remote learning, and partial attendance, or even operate boarding schools of its own,” he writes. What Maine can’t do is subsidize private schools while excluding the religious schools. As for the Establishment Clause, why not let many flowers bloom? If evangelical parents take Maine’s tuition dollars to evangelical schools, Jewish parents to Jewish schools, Buddhist parents to Buddhist schools, and so forth, it would be hard to see that outcome as a government establishment of religion. Pluralism is the answer, and it might be the future, as many parents are now discovering objections to what their local public schools are teaching. https://www.wsj.com/articles/religion-schools-and-the-supreme-court-11655850766?__________________________________________________________ 2. Charitable giving increased 4%, flat when adjusted for inflation, By Mark A. Kellner, The Washington Times, June 22, 2022, Pg. A6 Americans gave an estimated $484.85 billion to U.S. charities in 2021, a 4% increase over 2020, the new Giving USA report revealed Tuesday morning. Adjusted for inflation, however, overall giving remained flat, researchers at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found. The report indicated giving to religious institutions, estimated at $135.78 billion, topped the list of recipients in 2021, although that number was “flat” at a 0.7% gain when adjusted for inflation. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jun/20/american-charitable-giving-up-4-in-2021-but-is-fla/___________________________________________________________ 3. A Pro-Religion Court, What the 6-3 conservative Supreme Court majority’s latest ruling means., By Ian Prasad Philbrick, The New York Times, June 22, 2022, 6:08 AM, Newsletter The Supreme Court has become the most pro-religion it’s been since at least the 1950s, and it appears to include the six most pro-religion justices since at least World War II. Yesterday’s ruling striking down a Maine law that blocked taxpayer dollars from funding religious school tuition furthered a transformation decades in the making. Since John Roberts became chief justice in 2005, the court has ruled in favor of religious organizations in orally argued cases 83 percent of the time. That is far more than any court in the past seven decades — all of which were led by chief justices who, like Roberts, were appointed by Republican presidents. Yesterday’s ruling pushed the win rate for religious groups even higher, to 85 percent, said Lee Epstein, a law professor and political scientist at Washington University in St. Louis who uncovered the trend for a forthcoming Supreme Court Review study she co-wrote with Eric Posner, a University of Chicago law professor. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/22/briefing/supreme-court-religion.html__________________________________________________________ 4. Supreme Court Rules Maine Law Excluding Religious Schools from Tuition Assistance Is Unconstitutional, By Susan Berry, The Tennessee Star, June 22, 2022 In a major decision for religious freedom and school choice, the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a Maine law that barred taxpayer tuition assistance funds from families choosing religious schools.  Maureen Ferguson and Ashley McGuire, two senior fellows from The Catholic Association, reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision. “Today’s decision is a momentous victory for religious freedom and parents’ right to educate their children as they see fit,” Ferguson said. “As our nation’s public schools have moved away from the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic towards sheer political indoctrination, more and more parents are seeking to opt out. Religious schools should be among the options available to them.” McGuire observed that “religious families, and even families that aren’t religious but see the value in faith-based schools, should not be cut out from programs that help parents make the best educational choice for their kids.” “Maine’s law and others like it especially hurt low-income children who suffer the most in failed schools,” she added. https://tennesseestar.com/2022/06/22/supreme-court-rules-maine-law-excluding-religious-schools-from-tuition-assistance-is-unconstitutional/__________________________________________________________ 5. Overturning Roe won’t end abortions, but it may be good for democracy, By Ingrid Jacques, USA Today, June 22, 2022, Opinion In short, many Americans who say they support abortion rights usually place conditions on that support and would back restrictions to abortion access. And the same goes for those who say they oppose abortion.  Erin Morrow Hawley, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Law Center and a former clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts, said justices in the 1973 Roe decision were wrong to take these decisions from states. “It’s hard to find anyone who thinks that Roe was rightly decided, even among constitutional law scholars,” she said. “It overturned nearly every state’s pro-life law.”  And for those who are reluctant to overturn precedent, Hawley said, it’s not unusual for the court to do so. Stare decisis has its place, but it’s not enough of a justification to keep a wrong decision. Hawley noted how Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett pointed out in oral arguments that some of the court’s best decisions are those that have reversed precedent https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/columnist/2022/06/22/overturning-roe-abortion-strengthen-democracy/7640147001/__________________________________________________________ 6. Furor over Roe v. Wade reversal likely won’t rescue Democrats in midterm elections: Poll, By Susan Page, Kenneth Tran, and Merdie Nzanga, USA Today, June 22, 2022, 3:00 AM, Opinion Democratic strategists who hope a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would transform the midterms’ political landscape in their favor may be in for a disappointment. In a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, even those Americans who oppose striking down the landmark decision recognizing abortion rights say by 2-1 – 59% to 29% – that the economy will be more important to their vote in November. Seven in 10 say the high court’s action would have no effect on whether they choose to cast a ballot. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2022/06/22/suffolk-poll-abortion-democrats-midterms/7668898001/__________________________________________________________ 7. US bishops file brief supporting web designer who objects to gay marriage, By Maisy Sullivan, Catholic News Agency, June 21, 2022, 3:51 PM The U.S. bishops are coming to the aid of a Colorado web designer, a Christian who fears prosecution under state anti-discrimination law for stating her faith-based objections to providing services that promote same-sex marriage. Along with five other faith groups, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed an amici curiae brief in support of the web designer, Lorie Smith, in her Supreme Court case 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. “Free speech plays a critical role in protecting religious exercise because ‘freedom of conscience and worship’ have ‘close parallels in the speech provisions of the First Amendment,’” the June 2 amici brief reads. Supreme Court justices will hear the case next term, considering “Whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment.” https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/251601/us-bishops-file-brief-supporting-web-designer-who-objects-to-gay-marriage___________________________________________________________ 8. Supreme Court Upholds School Choice and Religious Freedom in Carson v. Makin, In a 6-3 decision, the court held that Maine violated the Constitution by preventing families from using state aid to send children to schools that provide what it calls ‘sectarian’ instruction., By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Catholic Register, June 21, 2022, Opinion On Tuesday morning the Supreme Court once again voted to defend religious freedom — this time by upholding the rights of parents to choose a Christian education for their children.  In a 6-3 decision, the court held that the state of Maine violated the Constitution by preventing families in areas of the state that lack a public high school from using state aid to send children to schools that provide what it calls “sectarian” instruction. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, explained that Maine’s “nonsectarian” requirement violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.  Parents across the country are increasingly interested in alternatives to government-run schools that force-feed their children progressive dogma. Lawmakers should wake up to this and advocate for school-choice initiatives so that taxpayer funds can travel with students to their family’s school of choice. Excluding Catholic and other religious schools from such initiatives, as the court made clear in its opinion, is a bigoted policy that has no place in a free society. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/supreme-court-upholds-school-choice-and-religious-freedom-in-carson-v-makin___________________________________________________________

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association. 
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