Monday, July 28, 2008

Colorado Christian College Financial Aid Ban Unconstitutional

Federal court rules that "wholesale exclusion of religious institutions and their students" from government support is unconstitutional.

-- From "Court: Colorado Financial Aid Ban Unconstitutional" by Joey Bunch, 7/24/08

Colorado violated the U.S. Constitution when it blocked taxpayer-funded financial aid to students at religious schools that the state calls "pervasively sectarian," a federal appellate court in Denver ruled Wednesday.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stood with Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. The school had appealed a ruling last year by federal Judge Marcia Krieger, who had sided with the state.

The appeals court said the ban is unconstitutional on two fronts.

"The program expressly discriminates among religions without constitutional justification," the ruling states, "and its criteria for doing so involve unconstitutionally intrusive scrutiny of religious belief and practice."

Colorado Christian president William Armstrong said he was thankful for the outcome.

"We think that it's a great victory for our students but also for the First and 14th amendments," he said.

He noted that the ruling said students should not have to "choose between their religious beliefs and receiving a governmental benefit."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.