Recent Developments (October 2002) in Civil Rights Law
October 1, 2002
Supreme Court Upholds School Voucher Program Last term, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of an Ohio school voucher program, holding that the government may give financial aid to parents so they can send their children to private schools, including those with religious affiliations. The Court ruled in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris that the program is “entirely neutral with respect to religion” and simply provides low-income families freedom of educational choice. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist authored the opinion for the Court. He was joined by Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer dissented.