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Press Release

Attorney General William P. Barr's Statement on the Supreme Court's Ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Attorney General William P. Barr has released the following statement:

“We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision today in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.  Montana’s Blaine Amendment excluded religious schools from state scholarship programs that are open to other educational institutions.  It thus prevented parents who send their children to religious schools from receiving scholarship funds that are available to the rest of the community.

The Supreme Court concluded today that Montana’s Blaine Amendment violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.  The Court recognized that the Free Exercise Clause “condemns discrimination against religious schools and the families whose children attend them.”  As a result of the Court’s decision, a state may no longer disqualify religious schools from scholarships or other programs “solely because they are religious.”  

The Court’s decision represents an important victory for religious liberty and religious equality in the United States.  As the Court explained, religious people are “members of the community too,” and their exclusion from public programs because of their religion is “odious to our Constitution” and “cannot stand.”  We were pleased to see the Court agree with the Trump Administration that such blatant discrimination against religion has no place in our constitutional system.”

Updated June 30, 2020

Press Release Number: 20-606