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Press Release

AFC, Allies File Amicus Brief on Maine Supreme Court Case

The American Federation for Children, in partnership with the Liberty Justice Center and the Atlantic Legal Foundation, today filed an Amicus Brief on a Maine school choice case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
David and Amy Carson, et al., v. A. Pender Makin, asserts that Maine’s ban on religious schools participating in the state’s school choice program violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.
The brief utilizes important historical, testimonial, and empirical reference material, while also citing the personal experiences of students in the American Federation for Children’s Voices for Choice program.
Statement from Elisa Clements, COO of the American Federation for Children:
“The Supreme Court must do what’s right for parents and students by eliminating existing restrictions on opportunity and freedom in Maine. This brief provides powerful testimony and evidence showing why the exclusion of religious schools is not only unconstitutional but also detrimental to a large group of students. We are grateful to the Liberty Justice Center and the Atlantic Legal Foundation for fighting for the rights of families. We are proud to stand with them and families seeking more opportunity for their children.”
Among the arguments and facts provided in the brief:

  • Citing Espinoza v. Mont. Department of Revenue reminds the court that discrimination against religious schools was ruled unconstitutional.
  • The inclusion of religious schools in school choice programs is necessary under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
  • The inclusion of religious schools can open doors of opportunity for millions of students nationwide.
  • Religious schools are important options for students with special needs, religious minorities, and victims of bullying.
  • Educational pluralism promotes core democratic values.
  • When states embrace the diversity of our schools, when they celebrate and empower rather than punish distinctive educational institutions, they embrace the best of our country, its heritage, and its hope for the future.

Read the full brief here.


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