Aguilar v. Felton/Dissent Rehnquist

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Aguilar v. Felton by William Rehnquist
Dissenting Opinion
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JUSTICE REHNQUIST, dissenting.

I dissent for the reasons stated in my dissenting opinion in Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 91 (1985). In this case, the Court takes advantage of the "Catch-22" paradox of its own creation, see Wallace, supra, at 109-110 (REHNQUIST, J., [p421] dissenting), whereby aid must be supervised to ensure no entanglement, but the supervision itself is held to cause an entanglement. The Court today strikes down nondiscriminatory nonsectarian aid to educationally deprived children from low-income families. The Establishment Clause does not prohibit such sorely needed assistance; we have indeed traveled far afield from the concerns which prompted the adoption of the First Amendment when we rely on gossamer abstractions to invalidate a law which obviously meets an entirely secular need. I would reverse.