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.Arizona Tax-Credit Case A Test of Church vs. State

Publication Date: 
October 30, 2010
The Arizona Republic
Ronald J. Hansen

Director of the Constitutional Law Center Michael McConnell is quoted by the Arizona Republic in the following story on a Supreme Court case that calls into question whether or not Arizona's private school funding violates the separation of church and state. Ronald J. Hansen wrote the following story:

A case to be argued Wednesday before the U.S. Supreme Court could settle once and for all the legal bounds of Arizona's private-school tuition tax-credit program.

More than setting a school-choice precedent, however, the case could also shape the rights of taxpayers to sue the government over policies they dislike that involve separation of church and state.


Michael W. McConnell, a retired federal appeals judge and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford University, said it seems "overwhelmingly likely" that the pivotal issue will be whether taxpayers have the right, or the "standing," to sue the government in cases involving church-state separation.


Meanwhile, the court is unlikely to upend its 2002 ruling allowing school vouchers, which essentially ended debate over school choice, McConnell said.

"My guess is they may not even get to the merits (of the tax-credit program)," McConnell said.