Supreme Court rules for Missouri church in playground case
Supreme Court rules for Missouri church in playground case
Children play on the playground at the Trinity Lutheran Child Learning Center in Columbia Mo.
Courtesy of Alliance Defending Freedom
27 June, 2017, 05:10
However, Monday's Supreme Courtruling could move Idaho's debate out of the legislative arena and into the courts.
The court stressed that this case was unlike Locke v. Davey, a 2004 court ruling which said federally funded scholarships were not required to go to college students who were receiving divinity degrees. The framers feared that providing public money to religious institutions would both sow religious conflicts within society and promote state meddling with religious institutions.
It's a massive victory for the Trump administration, which before Monday couldn't get a break in court.
The state of Missouri had told the Trinity Lutheran Church preschool that the state couldn't pay for the preschool's safer playground surfacing, because the state banned funding any church.
Writing on behalf of the majority in a 7-2 decision, Chief Justice Roberts concluded, "T$3 he exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, exclusively because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution. and can not stand". Seven of the nine justices ruled in favor of the church, eroding church-state separation, but a majority of the Court made clear that its ruling was a very narrow one.
The Supreme Court has ruled for a Missouri church that claimed religious discrimination after it was refused state funds to improve its playground.
This case involves express discrimination based on religious identity with respect to playground resurfacing. Finally, Gorsuch writes that to the extent some might read footnote 3 applies "only: with "playground resurfacing" cases, or only those with some association with children's health and safety or health, or perhaps some other social good we find sufficiently worthy..." he can not join in the footnote. Stephen Breyer wrote separately but concurred in the judgement. In her dissenting opinion, Justice Sotomayor argued that the decision radically changes what she believes was the previously held relationship between church and state.
A recycled scrap tire is not religious, the church said in its Supreme Court brief. "The stakes are higher".
Supporters of the church had warned that a negative ruling could give states justification to deny funds for other services, ranging from police and fire protection to soup kitchens and battered women's shelters.
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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission revolves around a gay couple who ordered a custom wedding cake from a Colorado-based bakery in 2012 - before same-sex marriages were legally established in the state. The Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution, in its own words, forbids only government action that prohibits the free exercise of religion; it does not require the government to subsidize churches or provide equal funding opportunities to religious and non-religious groups alike. Full disclosure: Under normal circumstances, I'm not the liberal you're looking for when it comes to issues of public funds for parochial institutions. Public opinion on the question is split: In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 48 percent of respondents said business owners should be able to refuse to serve gay clients if they have religious objections to homosexuality.
The decision ensures that religious institutions will not be automatically disqualified from various competitions for government aid, she said.
The effect of money flowing into churches is not limited to the financial benefit of the churches, but also for the state regulations to flow into churches.
To many religious communities, the question of whether two same-sex people can or should be the parents of a child is a question of faith.
First, the Court leaves open the possibility a useful distinction might be drawn between laws that discriminate on the basis of religious status and religious use. The court struck down the Arkansas law.
Perhaps the biggest case the Court will be taking up is President Donald Trump's travel ban - a revised version of the "Muslim ban" he advocated for on the campaign trail.
Opposing the church was the ACLU, which had argued that to make the church eligible for state benefits would be an unconstitutional violation of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause.
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