Supreme Court orders new look at Colorado school voucher program

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Colorado Supreme Court to review a school voucher program in the state that it ruled was unconstitutional.

The move comes one day after the justices ruled a Missouri policy that excludes a church-run preschool from a grant program is unconstitutional.

Missouri launched an initiative in 2012 to encourage schools to use recycled tires to produce safer playground surfaces, but the program triggered a major religious liberty fight.

A preschool run by the Trinity Lutheran Church sued when it was denied a state grant to participate in the program.

Its lawyers argued the state’s action constituted religious discrimination in violation of the federal Constitution’s Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses. The Court ruled 7-2 the policy is unconstitutional.

Colorado has a similar constitutional provision on the basis of the Colorado Supreme Court ruling against the voucher program.