U.S. Supreme Court justices recently debated questions about the constitutionality of Arizona’s school tuition tax credit program and whether or not Arizona taxpayers even have legal standing to challenge the program. In a lively exchange on Nov. 3, discussion focused on whether the money that Arizonans contribute to scholarship tuition organizations could be considered government money because of the $500 tax credit participants receive. Most of the scholarships granted through the organizations go to students in religious schools. Opponents contend that is tantamount to government funding of religious schools. Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal argued that based on previous court rulings Arizona taxpayers are barred from suing the government over how it spends money. “The key point is this: Not a cent of [the plaintiff’s] money goes to fund religion,” said Katyal. Two related cases challenging the program are being reviewed by the court, and a decision is likely before its summer adjournment.
Supreme Court Hears Tuition Challenge