Aj Congress to Challenge Use of Public Funds for Sectarian Institutions

The use of public tax money for “church” colleges will be challenged by the American Jewish Congress and the American Civil Liberties Union Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Connecticut. The case, to be argued before three judges, is expected to go ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court. Leo Pfeffer, special counsel for the AJ Congress. will argue for 15 Connecticut residents seeking to halt the flow of tax-raised moneys to Sacred Heart University, Fairfield University, Albert Magnus College and Annhurst College, all in Connecticut.

The suit, known as Tilton v. Finch, is considered a test case. Mr. Pfeffer will call for a halt to the “tens of millions” of dollars in Federal funds now being used by religious colleges across the country. He will ask for a “national declaration of judgment and a nationwide injunction.” The suit will charge that government officials are misinterpreting the Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963, and will attempt to show that funds given to a sectarian institution, even when used for secular purposes, still aid the religious aspects of the institution.

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