Judge Strikes Down Florida Voucher Law

Published August 30, 2002

On August 5, just weeks before the start of the school year, a state judge in Tallahassee ruled Florida’s Opportunity Scholarship program unconstitutional, since the state constitution forbids the use of tax money to send children to religious schools.

Lawyers for the Institute for Justice, which is defending the program, vowed to appeal and request a stay of the decision so as not to disrupt the education of the children already participating in the program and the additional children planning to join it this fall.

The court’s opinion failed to address the question of whether Florida’s exclusion of religious schools violates the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.