Newsbriefs: St. Andrew Church marks 125th anniversary with April events
Covering the old, new, traditional and avant-garde with a comprehensive curriculum, the Conservatory enrolls over 1,200 students annually onsite and serves nearly 3,500 students through extensive outreach programs for the Pasadena Unified and other
Faculty performers appearing at St. Andrew’s will offer a full program of stirring classical pieces, including selections from “Il Trovatore” and “Romeo and Juliet.” The public is invited and no tickets or reservations are required for this event.
High court tosses out challenge to
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Supreme Court April 4 tossed out a challenge to
The 5-4 ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy held that because the arrangement is for taxpayers to receive tax credits for their donations to tuition scholarship organizations, no actual state spending is involved and that therefore taxpayers in general lack jurisdiction for challenging the program.
"In an era of frequent litigation, class actions, sweeping injunctions with prospective effect, and continuing jurisdiction to enforce judicial remedies, courts must be more careful to insist on the formal rules of standing, not less so," wrote Kennedy. He was joined in the decision by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Scalia also wrote a brief concurring opinion.
In a strong dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said that because of the program the state has lost an estimated $350 million in revenue that never got into government coffers since the 1997 law took effect.
The program allows tax credits of up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for couples who donate money to a scholarship tuition organization, which in turn uses the money to fund scholarships for students who attend private schools, including religious schools. The vast majority of such scholarships have gone to students who attend religious schools.
"The court's arbitrary distinction threatens to eliminate all occasions for a taxpayer to contest the government's monetary support of religion. Precisely because appropriations and tax breaks can achieve identical objectives," wrote Kagan, "the government can easily substitute one for the other.
Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, told Catholic News Service that Kagan's conclusion that the program costs the state money overlooks how much
Johnson said the average credit --- or the amount that doesn't go into state coffers --- is $2,000, while the average cost to the state to educate a child is $9,000 to $10,000 a year. The difference of $7,000 to $8,000 per child is an expenditure the state doesn't have to make for that student. Johnson said private schools typically have lower per-student costs, and the balance of the expense is covered by the parents and by the parishes or other private organizations that sponsor the schools.
Thousands rally at Georgia Capitol to protest immigration measures
Throughout the rally, the crowd chanted in Spanish: "Yes, we can!"
Nora Soto, 35, who is in school to learn hairdressing, spent March 24 on
The proposals would broaden the powers of local police to enforce immigration laws and would require businesses to use an online verification system when hiring. The bills would also create criminal penalties for assisting people who are in the country illegally. Each bill passed in the chamber where it originated. A compromise measure was expected to take shape in the final days of the legislative session.
"This bill sends a message that Arizonans continue to care deeply about protecting life and protecting families," Brewer said April 2 as she signed H.B. 2416, which was passed by the Legislature March 30. It also prohibits the practice of "telemedicine" with regard to chemical abortions, whereby a physician consults via video conference with a woman seeking a drug to induce an abortion and gives her a prescription without ever seeing her in person.
The new law will likely save lives, according to Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, the public policy arm for the
Johnson said women could still refuse the ultrasound, but will at least have the option and time to think before undergoing an abortion. Not surprisingly, he said, those who favor abortions have opposed the bill. "We see people who call themselves pro-choice showing themselves to be anything but," Johnson said. "You would think that these so-called pro-choicers would be supportive of legislation or efforts that would enhance the woman's informed choice of what she was going to do. But of course, they are always opposed to this type of legislation."
Archbishop, Cardinal scheduled to speak at Napa Institute in July