Skip to main content
Card Image

Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling 'inconsistent' with First Amendment

Tuesday, Jun 25, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Phil Sechler regarding the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday in Drummond v. Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board directing the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board to rescind its contract with St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School “on grounds that the contract violates state and federal law”:

“Oklahoma parents and children are better off with more choices, not fewer. The U.S. Constitution protects St. Isidore’s freedom to operate according to its faith and supports the board’s decision to approve such learning options for Oklahoma families. The board knew that the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause prohibits state officials from denying public funding to religious schools simply because they are religious. We are disappointed with the court’s ruling that upholds discrimination against religion; we’ll be considering all legal options, including appeal.”

Justice Dana Kuehn wrote in her dissent, “I find nothing in the State or Federal Constitutions barring sectarian organizations, such as St. Isidore, from applying to operate charter schools. To the extent … the Charter Schools Act bars such organizations from even applying to operate a charter school, I would find it inconsistent with the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”

ADF attorneys representing the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board filed a brief last year with the state’s high court opposing the petition filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond to cancel the contract the board entered with St. Isidore.

  • Pronunciation guide: Sechler (SECK’-lur)

The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to protecting First Amendment and related freedoms for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.

# # #