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Sun Dec 31, 2023, 12:58 PM Dec 2023

Leonard Leo Allies Lead Effort to Establish Publicly Funded Religious School

- 'Leonard Leo Allies Lead Effort to Establish Publicly Funded Religious School,' Dec. 29, 2023. Ed.- A legal clinic at University of Notre Dame has helped represent the school while its officials have maintained ties to right-wing Supreme Court justices.

Oklahoma's newly approved religious charter school, which proponents hope will serve as the basis of a legal test case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could alter the principle of separation of church and state, is being boosted by a number of right-wing groups with ties to Federalist Society co-chair Leonard Leo, according to new reporting—including a legal clinic with links to some of the high court's most conservative justices.

The Okla. Statewide Virtual Charter School Board earlier this year gave preliminary approval for St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, which would be the country's first publicly funded religious school if it survives legal challenges.

The school board also approved a contract with the institution in October. Politico detailed groups that are aiding the effort to open St. Isidore, including a legal clinic at the Univ. of Notre Dame that was announced shortly before Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed.

At the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Initiative (RLI), law professor Nicole Stelle Garnett is representing St. Isidore in a case before the Okla. Supreme Court, which was initiated by state Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond. The state argues that the establishment of St. Isidore violates both the Okla. and U.S. constitutions; the state requires charters schools to be nonsectarian by statute.. Changing the Supreme Court's interpretation of separation of church and state, said progressive news outlet The Tennessee Holler, "has always been their goal."...

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