As we saw once again yesterday, conservatives on the Supreme Court are in favor of them.
I’ve made this point before, but in my experience if you bring up the idea that there’s any possible constitutional issue with the Hyde Amendment conservatives will react as if this was the nuttiest thing in the world — everyone knows that there can never be an obligation for the state to provide anything! But, of course, the Court’s conservatives are strongly committed to the idea that universities have to provide funding to religious student groups if they provide funding to any other type of group. And this is despite the fact that unlike with the Hyde Amendment these cases present an actual clash of constitutional requirements. The funding of medical services doesn’t raise any constitutional issues, but the providing state funding to religious student groups creates a dilemma where the establishment clause and free speech clauses of the First Amendment are in tension. I have no particular objection to resolving that case in favor of the latter value. Yesterday’s argument, however, where Alito asserts that religious groups are entitled to taxpayer money even if they refuse to comply with with the university’s neutral “all comers” or nondiscrimination codes*, is far weaker. And certainly gives away the “special rights” show.
*Or as Alito refers to nondiscrimination policies in the reasonable, moderate, apolitical manner for which he is justly famed, “prevailing standards of political correctness.”