Sloan v. Lemon
413 U.S. 825 (1973)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Sloan v. Lemon, 413 U.S. 825 (1973)

Sloan v. Lemon

No. 72-459

Argued April 16, 1973

Decided June 25, 1973*

413 U.S. 825

Syllabus

Subsequent to Lemon v. Kurtzman,403 U. S. 602, Pennsylvania enacted the "Parent Reimbursement Act for Nonpublic Education," providing funds to reimburse parents for a portion of tuition expenses incurred in sending their children to nonpublic schools. The three-judge District Court held that the law violated the Establishment Clause, granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, and permanently enjoined disbursement of any funds under the Act. The Court also indicated that

"more than 900 of the children attending nonpublic schools in . . . Pennsylvania are enrolled in schools that are controlled by religious organizations or that have the purpose of propagating and promoting religious faith,"

and ruled that the Act could not properly be viewed as containing a separable provision for aid to parents whose children attended nonsectarian, nonpublic schools.

Held:

1. There is no constitutionally significant difference between Pennsylvania's tuition grant scheme, with its intended consequence of preserving and supporting religion-oriented institutions, and New York's tuition reimbursement program held violative of the Establishment Clause in Committee for Public Education & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist, ante, p. 413 U. S. 756. Pp. 413 U. S. 828-833.

2. The Act is not severable, but even if it were clearly severable, valid aid to nonpublic, nonsectarian schools can provide no basis for sustaining aid to sectarian schools. The Equal Protection Clause cannot be relied upon to sustain a program violative of the Establishment Clause. Pp. 413 U. S. 833-835.

340 F.Supp. 1356, affirmed.

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, STEWART, MARSHALL, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. BURGER, C.J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which WHITE and REHNQUIST,

Page 413 U. S. 826

JJ., joined, ante p. 413 U. S. 798. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and REHNQUIST, J., joined, ante p. 413 U. S. 813.

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