Orthodox Union Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Review Case that Seeks End of Discrimination Against Religious Minorities through State Blaine Amendments

Posted on December 2, 2015 In Press Releases

Contact: Roslyn Singer
Director of Communications, OU Advocacy

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Florence Doyle v. Taxpayers for Public Education case and strike down “Blaine Amendments” contained in many state constitutions that bar state aid to parochial schools. The Colorado Supreme Court relied on that state’s Blaine Amendment to invalidate a school voucher program in Douglas County, Colorado.

The Orthodox Union filed a “Friend of the Court” brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that although state Blaine Amendments are typically associated with anti-Catholic bias, “history discloses that they more broadly reflect bigotry toward a number of minority faiths—including Judaism.” The Orthodox Union expressed its concern that if Colorado’s Blaine Amendment is permitted to stand, it would “perpetuate bigotry against minority religious faiths, hamper efforts to educate children from underserved and underprivileged communities, and prevent parents (especially poor parents) from making meaningful choices concerning their children’s education.”

Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s Executive Director for Public Policy, noted that this case could lead to an important watershed moment in American society. “This case provides the Court an important opportunity to make clear that nineteenth century bigotry against minority faiths has no place in twenty-first–century America,” he said. “The Orthodox Union is committed to fighting for educational opportunity and resources for Jewish day schools on all fronts,” Diament added.

The principal author of the brief was Ms. Alyson Ho of Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

The full text of the amicus brief can be read here.