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Mueller v. Allen (1983) involved a challenge to the State of Minnesota's allowance of tuition deductions for specified educational expenses, filed under the Establishment Clause, which prohibits government making laws “respecting an establishment of religion.” The Supreme Court's landmark decision in Mueller to let the state law stand provided an important precedent for other cases involving state support for religious schools.

Facts of the Case

The Minnesota statute allowed all state taxpayers, in computing their state income taxes, to deduct expenses incurred in providing “tuition, textbooks, and transportation” for their children attending public or nonpublic elementary or secondary schools. Insofar as the statute permitted the deductions to be used for children attending sectarian schools, state taxpayers challenged the constitutionality of the statute both facially and in ...

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