The federal court ruled in April that foes of the tax-credit program, which mostly benefits students at religious schools, are entitled to try to prove its unconstitutionality. The decision is the first time any state or federal court has called the credits into question.
Bender told Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, in a story that was published April 21 in the East Valley Tribune, that the ruling sets the stage for courts to eventually void the tax credits. A prior U.S. Supreme Court ruling maintained these scholarships are legal only if distributed "without reference to religion and if the parents have free choice to use the scholarships at whatever school they want."
In an interview with Steve Goldstein of KJZZ, Bender, an ACLU attorney who helped press the challenge, said the tax-credit program oozes religious discrimination, which is prohibited by the Constitution.
The Associated Press also quoted Bender, in an article published April 21 at azcentral.com, as saying, "We are pleased that the 9th Circuit has recognized that religious discrimination in the awarding of scholarships from tax revenues violates fundamental rights of religious freedom."
To read the report, click here.To listen to the interview, click here.