Jump to content

Supreme Court Rules States Cannot Exclude All Churches from Public Aid


WestVirginiaRebel

Recommended Posts

WestVirginiaRebel
supreme-court-rules-states-cannot-exclude-all-churches-public-aid

The Supreme Court of the United States held Monday that prohibiting churches from participating in non-religious state benefit programs violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

In a 7-2 ruling, the court held in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer that states cannot prohibitchurches from receiving otherwise generally available benefits based purely on their being a religious institution.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources decision to deny Trinity Lutheran a grant of recycled tire material for its playground was based on a so-called “antiestablishment” provision in the Missouri state constitution. Present in many state constitutions, Missouri’s reads as follows:

That no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion, or in aid of any priest, preacher, minister or teacher thereof, as such; and that no preference shall be given to nor any discrimination made against any church, sect or creed of religion, or any form of religious faith or worship

The 16-page opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that provisions like this cannot be used by states to deny churches and other religious institutions the right to participate in neutral state benefit programs, like the recycled tire material grant program at issue here, merely because they are a faith-based organization.

________

Let freedom church bells ring...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Draggingtree

The Supreme Court’s Playground Scrape

by Richard A. Epstein

Monday, July 3, 2017

A recent Supreme Court decision sheds light on an important tension in the religious clauses of the First Amendment of the Constitution. In Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, a church’s application for a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to resurface its playground with poured rubber made from recycled tires was turned down solely because of the church’s status as a religious institution. The Missouri DNR held that it was bound by this provision of the Missouri Constitution:

That no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion, or in aid of any priest, preacher, minister or teacher thereof, as such; and that no preference shall be given to nor any discrimination made against any church, sect or creed of religion, or any form of religious faith or worship.

The provision is one of the Blaine Amendments that was widely adopted by states in the late nineteenth century on a strong tide of anti-Catholic sentiment. The amendments, adopted in 38 states, prohibit the distribution of public funds to religious educational institutions. :snip: http://www.hoover.org/research/supreme-courts-playground-scrape

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1721921857
×
×
  • Create New...