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Ajcongress, Civil Liberties Union Plan Suits in Six States on School Aid

July 2, 1971
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week barring state aid to parochial schools will be the basis of suits to halt such aid in six states which the American Jewish Congress and the American Civil Liberties Union announced they would sponsor today. Attorneys for the two groups said suits would be filed in Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Vermont challenging recently enacted purchase-of-services programs, voucher plans, tax credits and teacher salary supplements. Leo Pfeffer, special counsel of the AJCongress and ACLU legal director Melvin Wulf, contended that to form of aid to elementary and secondary parochial schools beyond textbooks and busing was permissable under the opinion handed down by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Monday. The attorneys challenged a statement by New York Senate Majority Leader Earl Brydges Monday that the state’s new law allocating $33 million to pay part of the salaries of teachers of secular subjects in non-public schools was constitutional. They said the provisions of New York law “differed in no substantial way from those struck down in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Connecticut.” A suit attacking the law as unconstitutional will be filed within the next ten days in Federal Court here. The attorneys argued that “the entire thrust” of the Supreme Court decision “is to deny government aid to sectarian schools.” They described the decision as an “extremely broad one.”

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