The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Florida school voucher program ruled unconstitutional, again

Our Conscience

A state appeals court has struck down Florida's voucher program, holding that it clearly violates a provision of the Florida Constitution by funneling tax money to religious schools.

The 1st District Court of Appeal, sitting as a full panel en banc, ruled Nov. 12 that Gov. Jeb Bush's Florida Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) fails to pass constitutional muster.

"This is the third straight defeat for vouchers in Florida," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Giving tax money to religious schools clearly violates the state constitution, and court after court has ruled that way. I hope Gov. Bush and state legislators get the message that you can't force Florida taxpayers to support religion."

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