Author Topic: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana  (Read 2948 times)

Offline Yonah

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Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« on: January 23, 2020, 12:50:54 PM »
This is a very interesting case - the TL;DR:
- Montana had a law that gave tax credits for private school scholarship donations of $150
- A woman named Kendra Espinoza applied for the credits for her two kids enrolled in Catholic school.
- The Montana Dept. of Revenue denied her claim, because the school was religious.
- She's suing the state on the grounds that it unfairly discriminated against her because it should extend the credit to religious schools.
- After the suit, the state pulled the tax credit.

Here is some coverage of the case:
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/scotus-hears-arguments-in-major-school-choice-case
https://www.npr.org/2020/01/23/798668729/supreme-court-could-be-headed-to-a-major-unraveling-of-public-school-funding

While I'd love to get more for my tax $$, I also understand the value of a strong public school system (I enrolled one of my children in our local public school system for a couple of years because of learning issues).

My understanding is that if Espinoza wins, it opens the door for school choice initiatives around the country to include religious options. While parents of kids in private schools would love the help, parents with kids in public schools, are worried that it would erode their public school budgets.

Curious to see how this plays out.

Offline CountValentine

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 12:58:49 PM »
In their original tax credit plan did it state public schools only or exclude private schools?
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Offline Yammer

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 01:13:25 PM »

My understanding is that if Espinoza wins, it opens the door for school choice initiatives around the country to include religious options. While parents of kids in private schools would love the help, parents with kids in public schools, are worried that it would erode their public school budgets.

Curious to see how this plays out.

This is the foundation of the public/charter/private school debate...

Online zh cohen

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 01:14:41 PM »
In their original tax credit plan did it state public schools only or exclude private schools?


- Montana had a law that gave tax credits for private school scholarship donations of $150

Offline CountValentine

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 01:19:10 PM »

Ok I missed it. They denied it because it was a "religious" private school?
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Online zh cohen

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 01:27:50 PM »
Ok I missed it. They denied it because it was a "religious" private school?
Not a lawyer, but it seems like the state denied her claimed credit because it was a religious school.

The Montana Supreme Court agreed with her that based on the law should have gotten the credit, but therefore invalidated the entire law (for both religious and secular schools) because it was a violation of a clause in the Montana Constitution that prohibits funding of religious schools.

The Supreme Court is now considering whether that clause in the Montana Constitution is discriminatory. If they decide it is, then presumably the Montana Supreme Court ruling that the law is invalid would be reversed and the state would have to give the credit to all private schools.

Offline avromie7

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 01:53:39 PM »

I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.

Offline Yonah

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 01:56:35 PM »
This is the foundation of the public/charter/private school debate...


To some degree - firstly, charter schools are in fact, public schools that were granted a 'charter' outside of the standard school system. So they don't fall into this category (typically).

This ruling also necessarily won't force districts to provide funding for private schools where it didn't exist, but would not allow them to exclude religious schools from any private school funding effort.

Put differently: It won't force a state to fund Yeshivas, but if the state gave tax credits to parents of private schoolers, it couldn't exclude yeshiva parents from those credits.

Offline Dawie

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2020, 02:05:38 PM »
and the other side of the coin in allowing for tuition to be at least partially Deductible as a donation (intangible religious Benefit)
Sklar vs Commissioner in the Ninth Circuit http://www.jlaw.com/Briefs/sklar.html
Arizona Christian vs Winn http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/10/20/05-15754o.pdf

Offline avromie7

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2020, 02:06:36 PM »
I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.

Offline Yonah

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2020, 03:19:14 PM »
and the other side of the coin in allowing for tuition to be at least partially Deductible as a donation (intangible religious Benefit)
Sklar vs Commissioner in the Ninth Circuit http://www.jlaw.com/Briefs/sklar.html
Arizona Christian vs Winn http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/10/20/05-15754o.pdf

At first glance the Arizona case seems to be the opposite of this one, but it's not quite that.

This case suggests that the deductions only apply to non-sectarian schools
That case suggests that all though the deductions apply equally to everyone, there should be no tax benefit to scholarship funds that only fund religious schools.

In the first case, religious people have no recourse.
In the second case, secular people have recourse to donate to other funds.

Offline yos9694

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 12:33:05 PM »
Scotus ruled in favor yesterday. Was not expecting that...

Offline CountValentine

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2020, 12:34:59 PM »
Scotus ruled in favor yesterday. Was not expecting that...
That's a good thing when they don't rule the way people expect. Been a lot of that lately.
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Offline yos9694

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2020, 01:06:45 PM »
That's a good thing when they don't rule the way people expect. Been a lot of that lately.

Is it really a good thing in every context? Why? Are peoples' expectations always the wrong way to legislate?

BTW, I personally wish it had gone the other way because the only outcome of this ruling will be hatred and vitriol from the non-religious population towards everyone religious. I don't believe one red cent will end up back in my pocket as a result of this, but every layperson is going to whine about how their tax dollars are paying for religious indoctrination.

Online yitzgar

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2020, 01:17:05 PM »


That's a good thing when they don't always rule the way people expect. Been a lot of that lately.

Is this what you meant?

Offline whYME

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2020, 01:23:51 PM »
every layperson is going to whine about how their tax dollars are paying for religious indoctrination.
Their taxpayer dollars are already paying for religious indoctrination. But now other religions can be paid for as well...

Offline Yonah

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2020, 01:37:33 PM »
That's a good thing when they don't rule the way people expect. Been a lot of that lately.

 I think it is a good thing, because, despite what we see as the judges 'biases' if you will, they clearly put time and effort into interpreting the law and constitution.

I think that another thing people often overlook when SCOTUS hands down a decision are the opinions within both the majority and minority. If the justices agree for different reasons, it doesn't mean that all similar cases will get equal treatment.

Offline yos9694

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2020, 01:41:37 PM »
Their taxpayer dollars are already paying for religious indoctrination

Yes, and in so many different ways.

Offline CountValentine

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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2020, 02:51:53 PM »

Is this what you meant?
No! Everyone likes to think they know how they are going to vote. I love when that doesn't happen especially when it seems they are flipping so called sides.
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Espinoza v. Montana
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2020, 02:54:00 PM »
Are peoples' expectations always the wrong way to legislate?
If expectations are based on R or D then yes it is the wrong way.
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