Groups fighting grants for religious colleges

Jewish groups filed a brief backing Colorado’s refusal to provide grants to “pervasively sectarian” colleges.

The American Jewish Committee’s brief in the case of Colorado Christian University vs. Colorado Commission on Higher Education Chairman Raymond Baker was filed Tuesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver.

“Colorado has the right to prevent state tuition grants from going to colleges and universities that explicitly promote a particular religion,” said Jeffrey Sinensky, AJC’s general counsel. “Any real enforcement of the separation of church and state requires that taxpayer dollars are not used to aid religious education.”

The AJC brief was filed together with the American Jewish Congress, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, The American Civil Liberties Union, People for the American Way, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Federation of Teachers.

In 2003, the AJC filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Locke vs. Davey, supporting Washington state’s refusal to provide scholarships to theology students. The AJC’s brief cited the state’s victory in Davey as a precedent in the Colorado case.

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