Supreme Court Strikes Down Limits on State Aid to Religious Schools

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states may not exclude religious schools from programs that provide scholarships to students attending private schools.

The decision was the latest in a series of Supreme Court rulings interpreting the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion to bar the government from treating religious groups differently from secular ones.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the 5-to-4 ruling. The court’s four more liberal members dissented.

“A state need not subsidize private education,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “But once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

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