Open main menu

Court Documents
Dissenting Opinion

United States Supreme Court

403 U.S. 672

Tilton  v.  Richardson

 Argued: March 2, 3, 1971. --- Decided: June 28, 1971

See 92 S.Ct. 25.


The Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963 provides federal construction grants for college and university facilities, excluding 'any facility used or to be used for sectarian instruction or as a place for religious worship, or * * * primarily in connection with any part of the program of a school or department of divinity.' The United States retains a 20-year interest in any facility constructed with funds under the Act, and if, during this period, the recipient violates the statutory conditions, the Government is entitled to recovery of funds. Four church-related colleges and universities in Connecticut received federal construction grants for five facilities. Appellants attempted to show, in a three-judge court, that the recipient institutions were 'sectarian' by introducing evidence of their relations with religious authorities, the curricula content, and other indicia of religious character. Appellee colleges introduced testimony that they had fully complied with the statutory conditions and that their religious affiliations did not interfere with their secular educational functions. The court held that the Act authorized grants to church-related schools, and sustained its constitutionality, finding that the Act had neither the purpose nor the effect of promoting religion. Held: The Act is constitutional except for that portion providing for a 20-year limitation on the religious use of the facilities constructed with federal funds. P. 2095.

312 F.Supp. 1191, vacated and remanded.

The CHIEF JUSTICE, joined by Mr. Justice HARLAN, Mr. Justice STEWART, and Mr. Justice BLACKMUN, concluded that:


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).