The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Tuesday that Maine can't prohibit parents from using a government tuition aid program to send their children to religious private schools has drawn mixed reactions from religious and secular organizations that disagree if the ruling protects or "tramples" religious freedom.
In a 6-3 ruling, the high court said that Maine's requirement that the tuition can only be used for "nonsectarian" schools was a violation of religious freedom.
"As noted, a neutral benefit program in which public funds flow to religious organizations through the independent choices of private benefit recipients does not offend the Establishment Clause," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts for the majority.
"Maine's 'nonsectarian' requirement for its otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. 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."
The decision has sparked many reactions, with secular organizations and socially conservative legal groups being among those who have sounded off on the decision.
The following pages highlight seven responses to the Supreme Court decision in David Carson et al. v. A. Pender Makin.