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Abstract

On August 25, 1995, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an order temporarily enjoining the implementation of those portions of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program that would allow parents to use a state supported voucher to send their children to sectarian schools. Petitioners argued that the program, scheduled to begin within weeks, violated federal and state constitutional standards for the separation of church and state. This case represents one of the most significant constitutional conundrums in American jurisprudence and is poised to make its way through the state and federal judiciaries at a time when the United States Supreme Court appears to be undertaking a thorough reexamination of the meaning of the First Amendment. It also signals a new chapter in legal and political discourse that will continue to unfold as school choice programs gain increasing support among governors, state legislators, and members of Congress.

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