As S.C. Catholics challenge state’s Blaine Amendment, scholars argue it was ‘born of bigotry’

Catholics and others challenging South Carolina’s Blaine Amendment are right to argue that the amendment was “born of bigotry and prejudice, based on race and religion,” two scholars say.

The state’s Blaine Amendment – a constitutional ban on public funds for private religious schools – was enacted amid efforts by those schools to educate freed slaves and Catholic immigrants, said University of Notre Dame law professor Nicole Stelle Garnett and Daniel T. Judge, a student fellow at Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative, in a May 20 essay.

Currently, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston and an association of colleges that includes several historically Black colleges are challenging South Carolina’s Blaine Amendment in court. They charge that it unlawfully shut off Catholic and other schools from critical relief funds during the coronavirus pandemic.

Continue Reading…