Supreme Court: State cannot deny the Church an otherwise available public benefit on account of its religious status

by Steve MacDonald

Supreme_Court_Building_at_DuskIn a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court has declared that a state may not withhold an available public benefit on account of religious status.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a Missouri church that sued the state after being denied taxpayer funds for a playground project because of a provision that prohibits state funding for religious entities. 

This ruling suggests to me the possibility that public education tax dollars for public school tuition (Croydon Bill) may not be withheld from a student just because they choose to attend a religious school. The bill as written, if I recall, includes that limitation.

Additionally, the existing restriction prohibiting business tax scholarship money from going to a religious school would also be unconstitutional.

Maybe it’s not that far-reaching but here’s to hoping it is. (Time to dig into the full decision, available on the jump.)

H/T Fox News

TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH OF COLUMBIA, INC. v. COMER, DIRECTOR, MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Leave a Comment

  • roger

    The Court made it clear that that the Lock analysis does not apply here, but Locke held that it was for the State to not use religious funds in an “essentially religious endeavor” There is a huge difference between a Grant to put down a new play ground surface and funding religious instruction. You are conflating the two here.

    To your point is this footnote, #3.

    “This case involves express discrimination based on religious identity with respect to playground resurfacing. We do not address religious uses of funding or other forms of discrimination.” – Except that Roberts, Thomas and Gorsuch said they agreed to everything except for that footnote. Which in my opinion is a bit of sell out here, either agree in whole or in part, this is some funky in between.

    Ill give to you on this one, Gorsuch’s partial concurrence is written quiet beautifully. However, I disagree with it.

  • Radical Moderate

    But yet those children that were going to be using that playground are US citizens deserving of equal protection. In addition the members of that Church pay taxes just like every other US citizen. They are being denied equal treatment under the law BECAUSE of their religion. How can it be more obvious. The only ones that are unable to grasp this concept are brain dead Leftists.

  • Bryan W

    Ginsburg and Sotomayor were the two opposed. Sotomayor’s opinion shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning, context, and history of the 1st Amendment “establishment” clause.

    • Radical Moderate

      There is no “fundamental misunderstanding” with Sotomayor Bryan. If you research her background you can easily see she has a long standing chip on her shoulder against the old white slave owners that founded this country as well as Western Civilization itself.

      • Bryan W

        Ok, then, a fundamental disregard for the meaning, context, and history of the establishment clause?

        • Radical Moderate

          I get your drift my friend. Personally I would qualify her actions as a “deliberate disregard”. In Ginsberg’s case I would put it down to an outright hatred of anything that hearkens back to the traditionally Christian America of yesteryear.

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