This group has been talking about “intervening” on behalf of the program. Our own attorney general is responsible to defend the state. It is not clear that this Virginia group has the standing to be granted “intervenor” status, meaning that they could play a concrete role in the case. If not, they would probably file an amicus brief.
CONCORD – A battle over the constitutionality of the state’s education tax credit gained another player Tuesday, as Virginia-based Institute for Justice filed papers to defend the program against a legal challenge filed earlier this month.
The institute aims to defend the tax credit against a legal challenge filed Jan. 9 in Strafford County Superior Court by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.
“Education Tax Credit Programs like New Hampshire’s do not violate state constitutional provisions that prohibit state funds from directly aiding religious schools because tax credit programs rely entirely on private funds, private organizations, and private decision makers,” the institute’s lead attorney Dick Komer said in a statement.
The 25-page suit maintains that the tax credits amount to illegal support for religious schools, since 61 percent of students in private schools attend parochial studies. The suit surmises that most of the credits will go to religious schools, since the credits are capped at $2,500 a student and nonreligious school tuition is more than twice the cost.