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Carson v. Makin, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 3013 (S. Ct. June 21, 2022) (Roberts, J.)  Maine has enacted a program of tuition assistance for parents who live in school districts that do not operate a secondary school of their own. Under the program, parents designate the secondary school they would like their child to attend—public or private—and the school district transmits payments to that school to help defray the costs of tuition. Most private schools are eligible to receive the payments, so long as they are “nonsectarian.” The question presented is whether this restriction violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment protects against “indirect coercion or penalties on the free exercise of religion, not just outright prohibitions.” Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Assn., 485 U. S. 439, 450, 108 S. Ct. 1319, 99 L. Ed. 2d 534 (1988). In particular, we have repeatedly held that a State violates the Free Exercise Clause when it excludes religious observers from otherwise available public benefits. See Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U. S. 398, 404, 83 S. Ct. 1790, 10 L. Ed. 2d 965 (1963) (“It is too late in the day to doubt that the liberties of religion and expression may be infringed by the denial of or placing of conditions upon a benefit or privilege.”); see also Everson v. Board of Ed. of Ewing, 330 U. S. 1, 16, 67 S. Ct. 504, 91 L. Ed. 711 (1947) (a State “cannot exclude” individuals “because of their faith, or lack of it, from receiving the benefits of public welfare legislation”). A State may not withhold unemployment benefits, for instance, on the ground that an individual lost his job for refusing to abandon the dictates of his faith. See Sherbert, 374 U. S., at 399- 402, 83 S. Ct. 1790, 10 L. Ed. 2d 965 (Seventh-day Adventist who refused to work on the Sabbath); Thomas v. Review Bd. of Ind. Employment Security Div., 450 U. S. 707, 709, 720, 101 S. Ct. 1425, 67 L. Ed. 2d 624 (1981) (Jehovah’s Witness who refused to participate in the production of armaments). Maine’s “nonsectarian” requirement for its otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Regardless of how the benefit and restriction are described, the program operates to identify and exclude otherwise eligible schools on the basis of their religious exercise. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.