School vouchers and the Indiana Constitution: What would the framers say?

Article 1, Section 6 of the Indiana Constitution says, simply, “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution.”

Supporters of Indiana’s school voucher program insist that doesn’t mean the state can’t fund religion. Vouchers are state funds, after all; and most of the schools getting them are religious institutions. Some law professors and school-law experts say the Indiana Supreme Court is likely to declare the voucher program acceptable.

But it seems unlikely that the men who drafted and approved Indiana’s constitution would agree. Here’s their explanation for what they were trying to do, as recorded in the journal of the 1850-51 constitutional convention:

“ … to secure the rights of conscience and prevent the imposition, on the citizen, of any tax to support any ministry Continue reading