Legal Briefs

Locke v. Davey

By Clint Bolick
February 1, 2004
The state of Washington denied Joshua Davey a publicly funded scholarship because he had chosen to pursue a pastoral studies major at a religious college. Had he chosen to study theology at a public or a private secular university, he would have received the scholarship. Davey thus claims that Washington, under its Blaine Amendment, has limited the choice of an individual to pursue a religious vocation, in violation of the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause. Cato’s brief, joined by the Institute for Justice, the Center for Educational Reform, Citizens for Educational Freedom, and the Goldwater Institute, argues that Washington’s Blaine Amendment cannot be divorced from its antecedents in religious bigotry and that the state’s efforts to control and channel individuals’ free and independent choices about religion violate the Constitution.

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