Locke v. Davey

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In Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712 (2004),[1] the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Washington State tuition reimbursement program that excluded only scholarships to pursue devotional theology degrees.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist, in a decision joined by all except Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, declared this issue to reside in the discretionary space between the Establishment Clause clause, which prohibits certain state action in support of religion, and the Free Exercise Clause, which requires certain state accommodation of religion. In other words, it is up to the states whether to fund this type of program, and the Court would not require it.

The Bush Administration unsuccessfully filed an amicus brief to require Washington State to fund the theology studies.


  1. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-1315.ZS.html