Witters v. Washington: Supreme Court Rules on Financial Aid for Religious Studies

Witters v. Washington: Supreme Court Rules on Financial Aid for Religious Studies

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Decided: Witters v. Washington — Should a state government provide financial assistance to a someone who wants to study to become a pastor, missionary, or youth director? Larry Witters, a man suffering from a progressive eye condition, applied for such aid in the state of Washington and was denied, but the Supreme Court sided with him.

According to the court's unanimous opinion:

"A State may issue a paycheck to one of its employees, who may then donate all or part of that paycheck to a religious institution, all without constitutional barrier; and the State may do so even knowing that the employee so intends to dispose of his salary. ...

Any aid provided under Washington's program that ultimately flows to religious institutions does so only as a result of the genuinely independent and private choices of aid recipients."

Decided: Witters v. Washington

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