William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


[...] This Article makes the unremarkable and conservative argument that the transfer of public funds to religious schools under Iowa’s education savings account program violates the Iowa Constitution’s compulsion guarantee.

We start by looking at the Iowa compulsion guarantee, including a review of the Iowa authorities which have construed it, the historical record and setting of its adoption, and the history of its New Jersey antecedent. We then introduce the education savings account mechanism by which Iowa’s religious schools stand to receive more than a third of a billion dollars annually by FY 2027. After that, we consider whether education savings account transfers of public funds to religious schools are constitutional under Iowa’s compulsion guarantee, specifically considering three questions framed by the relevant authorities: first, are the religious schools ministries and are their teachers ministers?; second, do the religious schools teach their students religion?; and third, are the religious schools pervasively religious? We then consider the application of the compulsion guarantee to the education savings account program in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Carson v. Makin. We conclude by asking where we go from here.

This abstract has been taken from the author's introduction.


This article's Appendix B is available as a separate item in the repository.