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Word Count: 351
MUELLER V ALLEN Issue Did the government violate the Establishment Clause because they provided monetary support to the parents of all school-goers Rule The 1st Amendment states that the Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof Analysis In 1983 case of Mueller v Allen made a few changes in the way the federal government helped out the children in schools The question in the Mueller case was a Minnesota statute that allowed all parents to deduct tuition textbook and transportation expenses from their gross income on state tax returns for their children attending elementary and secondary schools The Minnesota law allowed a tax deduction of up to 500 for each child in grades K through 6 and up to 700 for each child in grades 7 through 12 Given that most parents of public school children incurred no tuition expenses and that at the time 96 percent of Minnesota children in private schools attended religiously affiliated ones 1978-1979 it was clear that the bulk of the tax deductions would go to parents of children in private schools A group of Minnesota taxpayers brought suit against the Minnesota commissioner of revenue and Minnesota parents who had taken the tax deduction for expenses incurred in sending their children to parochial schools The suit alleged that the law violated the Establishment Clause because it gave financial assistance to sectarian institutions which was a link between church and state Conclusion Justice Rehnquists opinion in the Mueller case made a major distinction between direct aid and indirect aid to parochial schools He said It is true of course that financial assistance provided to parents ultimately has an economic effect comparable to that of aid given directly to the schools attended by their children It is also true however that under Minnesotas arrangement public funds become available only as a result of numerous private choices of individual parents of
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