The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Maine cannot prevent parents from using state vouchers to send their children to religious schools.
The state’s school voucher program allows parents to receive tuition assistance for public or private schools.
The Supreme Court ruled against the state and in favor of religious school aid in a 6-3 decision supported by the court’s conservative justices.
"This watershed Supreme Court ruling opens the door for our advocacy efforts at the state and local levels in key places like New York, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania and elsewhere," Maury Litwack, executive director of the Orthodox Union's Teach Coalition, told CNN.
"Maine's 'nonsectarian' requirement for its otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. "Regardless of how the benefit and restriction are described, the program operates to identify and exclude otherwise eligible schools on the basis of their religious exercise."
Roberts position was supported by Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett while the three liberal justices gave a dissenting opinion.
Vermont is the only other state to have a voucher program. But the court’s ruling could lead to other state’s adopting similar tuition aid systems, according to CNN.