Millions of dollars of state funding for Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, isn’t all that’s at stake in an upcoming court battle that has wound its way to the state’s highest court, state officials say, according tot a report by Kathleen Hopkins for the Asbury Park Press.
What the state Supreme Court decides in the case concerning $10.6 million in higher-education funding to BMG will have implications for higher education throughout the state, as well as other types of public grants to institutions with religious affiliations, the state attorney general’s office says.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey says a panel of appellate judges got it right when it ruled in May that the grant to BMG and grants totaling $645,323 to the Princeton Theological Seminary clearly violate what is commonly known as the Religious Aid Clause of the state Constitution. The clause prohibits the use of tax revenues for the maintenance or support of any religious group.
The state attorney general’s office wants the high court to overturn the appellate decision, saying it could hamstring its efforts to fund higher education and other programs throughout the state.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the state’s challenge, setting up a legal battle the state says is of public importance with statewide consequences. A hearing in the case has not yet been scheduled. The Supreme Court, at a conference Dec. 7, certified the state’s appeal. Read the full report at the Asbury Park Press.