United States Supreme Court hears pleadings in cases of funding religious schools and effective lawyers – JURIST

The United States Supreme Court heard argument on Wednesday in cases involving state funding of private religious schools and proceedings for inmates challenging their convictions because of an incompetent lawyer.

In Carson vs. Makin, the court will determine whether Maine’s plan to outsource public education to secular private schools by compensating parents for tuition fees violates the free exercise clause because it excludes religious schools. Maine created this system of contracting with private schools to ensure that students who live in districts that do not run their own high schools still receive free education that is adjacent to a public school experience. They to define this experience as an experience which “exposes children to various points of view, promotes tolerance and acceptance, teaches academic subjects in a religiously neutral manner and does not promote a particular faith or belief system”.

The court recently ruled that states cannot exclude faith-based schools from state-subsidized tuition assistance programs on the basis of their religious status. The question that was debated today was whether they could be excluded on the basis of religious use of government funds.

Judge Sotomayor in oral argument noted that the state curriculum simply presents the same opportunities to parents of children whose districts have public schools: “Get free secular public education or pay for your religious training.” Justice Kavanaugh said that when a student in a district without a public school could have their tuition in a secular private school covered and another would be refused to attend a private religious school, “[t]It is simply discrimination based on religion at the neighborhood level.

The second plea, Shinn vs. Ramirez and Jones, concerned two men who were sentenced to death and denied their right to present further evidence of the ineffectiveness of their counsel after the trial. Arizona currently limits the right to legal assistance in criminal matters to the trial phase and direct appeal. For post-conviction claims, which are also the first opportunity for people to present new evidence to support the issue of a lawyer incompetence, there is no right to assistance. of a lawyer.

Previous case have established that incarcerated persons can raise issues of ineffectiveness of attorneys in federal courts, but the state of Arizona argued that this is overcome by a provision in the Anti-terrorism law and effective death penalty of 1996 (AEDPA) which asserts that federal courts cannot consider any evidence that is not first presented in state court.

Justices Alito and Gorsuch raised the question of whether the guarantor attorney at this phase would lead to backlogs, but on the whole, the justices expressed reluctance to follow Arizona’s request to overturn previous rulings on that question. Highlighting the contradictions in the process proposed by Arizona, Chief Justice Roberts noted, “If you have the right to raise the claim for the first time because your lawyer was incompetent before, you certainly have the right to obtain the necessary evidence to support your claim. “

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