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In the nineteenth century a movement began to stop federal and state money from funding the building of Roman Catholic institutions and schools. What resulted was the adoption of a version of the Blaine Amendment by 37 state constitutions, and a failed attempt to add it to the U.S. Constitution.
Some argue public funds should be available to everyone. Some argue they shouldn’t be used to fund religious institutions and schools, only public schools.
Address - Congress - December - President - Ulysses
In his final address to Congress in December 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant suggested that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution be proposed, “prohibiting the granting of any school funds, or school taxes … for the benefit of or in aid … of any religious sect or denomination.”
He argued doing so was “the duty of each of the several States to establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the education of all of the children.”
Rep - James - G - Blaine - Maine
Rep. James G. Blaine of Maine proposed the amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which passed in the House on Aug. 4, 1876, by a vote of 180 to 7. It also passed in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 28 to 16, but not enough to meet the two-thirds threshold required.
Montana was among many western states to adopt such an amendment after Congress stipulated in 1875 that doing so was a pre-condition of joining the Union. Montana joined the Union in 1889 after delegates to the 1889 Montana constitutional convention passed the Blaine Amendment to the state constitution.
Years - US - Supreme - Court - Case
Roughly 131 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court is now hearing a case directly linked to the Blaine Amendment.
Many legal scholars expect the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Montana Supreme Court ruling based on its constitutional Blaine Amendment.
Case - Espinoza - Montana - Department - Revenue
The case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, is considered by many to be a landmark...
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