Tax credit challenge thrown out by U.S. Supreme Court

by David Safier

The lawsuit trying to get rid of Arizona's tuition tax credits was thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court, which said the people bringing the lawsuit had no standing. In other words, the content of the suit wasn't discussed. It was thrown out on a technicality, 5-4, with the usual gang of conservatives in the majority.

The thrust of the lawsuit is that, not only do tuition tax credits go predominantly to religious schools — not surprising, since about 80% of Arizona's private schools are religious (about the same percentage as in other states) — but many of the STOs (School Tuition Organizations) only give scholarships to religious schools: Catholic Tuition Organization, Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, etc.

The Arizona Constitution forbids spending tax dollars for religious purposes. But that could change. A ballot measure may be put in front of voters in 2012 to get rid of the restriction.

0 responses to “Tax credit challenge thrown out by U.S. Supreme Court

  1. I think you are applauding the wrong side for relying on the “obnoxious principle that the fruits of all gainful activity belong to the government.” Under the majority’s ruling, there is a strong incentive for legislatures to in fact treat the fruits of all gainful activity as belong to the government, and then dishing the money out through unreviewable tax credits. So the majority, in denying the principle, makes it more likely to become reality, while failing to “recognize and expose” said reality. That is praiseworthy?

  2. Cut funding for science and engineerin¬g, but by all means let’s make it easier for parents to get their kids biased, anti-scien¬ce educations¬. People wonder why we are falling behind other countries. Go to your local university and take a peek at the advanced science and engineerin¬g programs. They are full of foreign students who used to stay here and contribute¬, but increasing¬ly are taking their skills home.
    There is a reason Muslim countries are generally backward, the problem is that their extremists look and act just like ours, and if they have their way the USA will be as backward and dependent as Egypt, Syria, or Pakistan.

  3. Must Read, Lyle Denniston’s recap at Scotus Blog. http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/04/opinion-recap-the-near-end-of-taxpayer-standing/

    Shorter version: “[T]he Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote came very close on Monday to taking away altogether the right of taxpayers to go to court to challenge government programs that provide financial aid to religion — in this case, indirect state subsidies that go most often to pay for parochial school tuition. While the Court left in the books its most important ruling on “taxpayer standing,” the 1968 precedent in Flast v. Cohen, that ruling appeared to stand alone, in stark and even threatened isolation.”

    What’s the point of having a Constitution if citizens do not have standing to enforce it?