NHPR picked a key exchange from yesterday’s court hearing:
Oral arguments were heard Friday in a lawsuit which will determine if the state’s new education tax credit is constitutional. The state argues that for the tax credit to be considered unconstitutional, the judge has to consider first if directing money through a tax credit is the same as spending money in the budget. Next the judge will have to determine if because some parents use that money to send their kids to religious schools, does that violate the state’s constitution?
Much of the argument from both sides rests on how the judge considers a 1969 opinion in which the State Supreme Court decided a very similar program could not be allowed.
Here Judge John Lewis interrupts as Richard Head from the Attorney General’s office argues that the 1969 precedent isn’t as strong as the laws opponents think.
“Time didn’t stop in 1969,” said Head, before Lewis cut in “Is that for me to decide? If I rule against you and it gets appealed, or I rule against them and it gets appealed it’s still a matter that will be decided by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.”
There’s no expected date for the judge’s ruling, but both sides believe that ultimately it will be the State Supreme Court that sorts this out.