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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes Stands for School Choice and Religious Liberty

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in Hile v Michigan over an issue pertaining to school choice and religious liberty. The brief, led by the State of West Virginia, urges the nation’s high court to hear arguments in the case.

Michigan parents have challenged a state constitutional amendment from 1970 that banned taxpayer dollars from nonpublic educational institutions. State voters also voted against a measure in 2000 to amend the constitution to allow for taxpayer support of nonpublic schools and students. The Michigan parents have argued that the state’s opposition to taxpayer support of nonpublic institutions and students is unconstitutional and harms religious schools. The district court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled against the parents, leading to the appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The questions presented in the brief ask “whether Michigan’s constitutional amendment barring direct and indirect public financial support for parochial and other nonpublic schools violates the Equal Protection Clause, [and] whether the failure of a 2000 school-voucher ballot proposal purges the amendment of its religious animus for purposes of the Equal Protection Clause.”

In their brief, the coalition of attorneys general argue that the U.S. Supreme Court should accept the case because this would give the Court an opportunity “to clarify the confused political-process doctrine,” as well as “to give parents every possible means to educate their children.” According to the brief, “the political-process doctrine reflects that a representative democracy like ours requires a fair playing field, and courts should stop majorities from stacking the political-process deck against ‘socially subordinated’ minority groups.”

Joining Utah and West Virginia on the brief were the States of Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, and South Dakota.

Read the letter here.