Thursday, December 31, 2015
As Howard Friedman reports at Religion Clause, a second lawsuit has now been filed against the Montana Revenue Department for its silly decision to exclude parents and donors of religious schools from participating in the state's tax-credit program for donations to "student scholarship organizations" (SSOs). This complaint is in federal court.
The comments our St. Thomas religious liberty clinic filed, on behalf of several organizations, when the Department was considering the rule predicted that it would be awash in litigation. Why the tax lawyers at the Department wanted to bring this on is beyond me. As we wrote back then, the exclusion is based on a House that Jack Built sequence: the asserted need to prevent the state from crediting "a donation to an SSO that funds a scholarship that assists a parent who chooses a school that may or may not be religious."