Charleston, S.C., Apr 15, 2021 / 18:01 pm
The Diocese of Charleston filed a suit against South Carolina on Wednesday challenging the state’s “Blaine Amendment”, which prohibits public funds from going to private schools.
The state supreme court has blocked the governor’s efforts to provide Covid-relief funding to private schools and the parents of private school students, citing the state’s Blaine Amendment.
Bishop of Charleston v. Adams was filed April 14 in a US district court. South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, a nonprofit organization that includes five Historically Black Colleges and Universities, is a co-plaintiff in the case.
“This appeal to our state’s courts is not only to, at long last, expunge the anti-Catholic and racist sentiment that still haunts our past. It is about creating a more inclusive, uplifting future for parents and children who seek an education that best fits their values and needs of their students,” said Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston.
“Many families have been significantly hurt by the COVID pandemic and they should not be denied financial assistance based on where they desire to send their children to school,” he added.
The diocese and SCICU are being represented by the Liberty Justice Center, which argues the Blaine Amendment violates the free exercise and equal protection clauses of the US Constitution.
“This lawsuit seeks to achieve something that every American can stand behind: We’re fighting to strike down a century-old law that was enacted with the purpose of discriminating against our fellow citizens,” said Daniel Suhr, senior attorney for the Liberty Justice Center.
A statement from the plaintiffs argued that “South Carolina added the provision to its 1895 constitution in order to suppress the education of newly freed slaves and to enable discrimination against Catholic immigrants.”