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Grants to Parochial Schools from State Lottery Termed Illegal

The American Jewish Congress joined the National Council of Churches and the American Civil Liberties Union today in a memorandum to the New Hampshire Supreme Court criticizing a recently-enacted State law that would give to parochial schools part of the revenue raised by the New Hampshire sweepstakes.

The memorandum called the measure, which went into effect in July, “unprecedented” and “plainly unconstitutional.” It was submitted in response to an invitation of the State Supreme Court. The memorandum stated that the law was the first measure ever enacted in the United States which authorized the direct transfer of public funds to the general treasury of parochial schools. The memorandum called the law a “novel and unprecedented departure” from the principle of church-state separation that “goes far beyond any form of aid to religious institutions that has received judicial approval.”

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