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    This page contains Supreme Court rulings -- with summaries of the majority and minority conclusions.

04-LOCKE on Dec 2, 2003

Decided Feb 25, 2004
Case Ruling: Locke v. Davey
Voting 7-2, the court upholds the provisions of Washington state's Promise Scholarship program, which offers taxpayer-funded scholarships to low-income college students enrolled in secular studies.

HELD: Delivered by Rehnquist, joined by Stevens, O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer

The justices rule in Locke v. Davey that states are not violating the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom if they choose not to subsidize students studying for the ministry. The decision upholds the constitutionality of the scholarship program which excluded students pursuing a "degree in theology."

DISSENT: Dissent by Scalia, joined by Thomas

When the State withholds a benefit from some individuals solely on the basis of religion, it violates the Free Exercise Clause no less than if it had imposed a special tax. That is precisely what the State of Washington has done here. It has created a generally available public benefit, whose receipt is conditioned only on academic performance, income, and attendance at an accredited school. It has then carved out a solitary course of study for exclusion: theology.


    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 4. Question 4: Keep God in the public sphere Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Education
  • Headline: Ok to deny scholarships to divinity students (Score: -2)
  • Headline 2: Unconstitutional to deny scholarships to divinity students (Score: 2)

    Participating counts on AmericansElect question 6.
  • Headline: Ok to deny scholarships to divinity students (Answer: C)
  • Headline 2: Unconstitutional to deny scholarships to divinity students (Answer: A)
  • AmericansElect Quiz Question 6 on Education: When you think about education in the US, which of the following is closest to your opinion?
    • A: School curriculums should be set entirely at a local school board level
    • B: School curriculums should be set more by local school boards than at a national level
    • C: School curriculums should be set more by national standards than at a local level
    • D: School curriculums should be set entirely at a national standardized level
    • E: Unsure


  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 04-LOCKE

Stephen Breyer j1US Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg j1US Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 



Republicans participating in 04-LOCKE

Anthony Kennedy j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
Sandra Day O`Connor j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2005) 
William Rehnquist w1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (until 2005) 
Antonin Scalia w2dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
David Souter j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2009) 
John Paul Stevens j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2010) 
Clarence Thomas w2jUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 



Independents participating in 04-LOCKE



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 2
Republicans: 7
Independents: 0


















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