Aaron Worthing at Patterico has a case that shows
a) just how desperate some people are to try and “get” religion and
b) just how keen some senior judges are ignore the law and aid them
… In that case, taxpayers were allowed to get a tax credit of up to $500 if they donate to a School Tuition Organization (STO). The STO was then free to spend the money however it sees fit, with the limitation that it must go to scholarships for students.Ann Althouse thinks “this case has a substantive Establishment Clause issue — whether government is subsidizing religion — and a threshold issue about standing” asking in the headline to her post, “[i]f the government gives tax credits for donations that may go to religion, is that essentially the same as government spending on religion?”
And here’s the conversation that happened when it got to the supreme court.
JUSTICE SCALIA: I assume that there is a tax deduction [in the Arizona Tax Code] for contributions to churches?
MS. BICKETT: Yes, Your Honor.
JUSTICE SCALIA: And many churches discriminate on the basis of religion, don’t they.
MS. BICKETT: Yes, they do.
JUSTICE SCALIA: Does that pose a constitutional problem, do you think?
MS. BICKETT: No, Your Honor.
Open and shut. How this got beyond the first judge that looked at it, let alone the 9th circuit is beyond me – and apparently basic legal principles are beyond liberal judges.