Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn

Becket Role:


Decision Date:
December 21, 2011
Deciding Court:
U.S. Supreme Court


Case Summary

Arizona set up an innovative system that allows Arizonans to create scholarship pools for students attending private schools. These “school tuition organizations” (STOs) give what amounts to scholarships to students who qualify.

Immediately after this program was enacted, ACLU-supported taxpayers sued the state, arguing that the entire STO program was unconstitutional because many of the funds from STOs would (they claim) go towards scholarships for religious schools. Alliance Defending Freedom represented the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization.

After 13 years of litigation, the case finally made its way to the Supreme Court. Becket wrote a widely-noted brief filed with the Supreme Court, arguing that under current doctrines of “standing,” state taxpayers like the Winn plaintiffs do not have the right to bring the lawsuit.

The Supreme Court ruled our way.

Case Information

Becket Role:
Case Start Date:
February 15, 2000
Deciding Court:
U.S. Supreme Court
Original Court:
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
Supreme Court Status:
Practice Area(s):