Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The Court has ruled, 7-2, in Locke v. Davey, that the State of Washington may deny scholarship funds to otherwise eligible college students if those students declare a major in theology. The opinion is available here. Professor Eugene Volokh has a short, and correct, critique up at his blog. Particularly disappointing was the brush-off given by the Court to the anti-Catholicism that surrounded, animated, and motivated the Washington provisions at issue. (For more, see the recent work of, for example, John McGreevy and Philip Hamburger). My article (link on the right) on the "Theology of the Blaine Amendments" goes into more detail about the case. In a nutshell, I believe that the Court has (a) uncritically embraced a sectarian version of "separationism" and (b) has authorized discrimination by state actors against those who take their religious faith seriously. I welcome other reactions, though.