World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Locke v. Davey


Locke v. Davey

Locke v. Davey
Argued December 2, 2003
Decided February 25, 2004
Full case name Gary Locke, Governor of Washington, et al., Petitioners v. Joshua Davey
Citations 540 U.S. 712 (more)
124 S. Ct. 1307; 158 L. Ed. 2d 1; 2004 U.S. LEXIS 1626; 72 U.S.L.W. 4206; 17 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 163
Prior history On writ of cert. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Davey v. Locke, 299 F.3d 748, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 14461 (9th Cir. Wash., 2002)
The Court upheld the constitutionality of a Washington publicly funded scholarship program which excluded students pursuing a "degree in theology."
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Rehnquist, joined by Stevens, O'Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
Dissent Scalia, joined by Thomas
Dissent Thomas
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I

Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712 (2004), is a United States Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of a Washington publicly funded scholarship program which excluded students pursuing a "degree in devotional theology." This case examined the "room.. between the two Religion Clauses", the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote the opinion with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissenting.


  • Holding 1
  • Background 2
    • The scholarship 2.1
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The statute was upheld. The Court held that there was nothing "inherently constitutionally suspect" in the denial of funding for vocational religious instruction. Even if there were, Washington had a "substantial state interest" in not funding "devotional degrees."


Davey enrolled in Northwest College and received a Promise Scholarship. But when he declared a double major in pastoral ministries and business management/administration, his scholarship was revoked.[1] Davey was given the opportunity to continue under the scholarship but without the pastoral ministries major, but he refused.

The scholarship

In 1999, the state of Washington legislature created a scholarship, the Promise Scholarship. The scholarships were for roughly $1,250 each and were funded through the State's general fund. They were available for qualified students who enrolled for "at least half time in an eligible postsecondary institution in the state of Washington", but excluded study in theology. This was because the Washington State Constitution's Blaine Amendment specifically states that "No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction".[2]

The scholarship was available to any graduate of a Washington public or private high school. The student must be in the top 15%, receive a score of 1,200 or higher on the SAT, or score higher than a 27 on the American College Test. In addition, the student's family's income must be less than 135% of the median.

See also


  1. ^ "Scholarship - God Dispute". CBS News. June 8, 2004. Retrieved 2010-12-02. 
  2. ^ Article I, Section 11
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.