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Supreme Court sides with Missouri church: What does ruling mean for taxpayers?

Supreme Court sides with Missouri church: What does ruling mean for taxpayers?

"Applying that basic principle, this Court has repeatedly confirmed that denying a generally available benefit exclusively on account of religious identity imposes a penalty on the free exercise of religion that can be justified only by a state interest 'of the highest order, '" he said.

But the pro-school choice Center for Education Reform said that even without reviewing the constitutionality of Missouri's prohibition on the use of state funds at religious schools, the justices had bolstered the choice movement by condemning the denial of a public benefit to an otherwise eligible recipient exclusively on the basis of its religious identity.

The Supreme Court ruling in the Missouri case further buttresses citizens' protection against religious discrimination.

The court's decision makes school-choice legislation more possible to pass in state governments.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Ginsburg dissented from the ruling. The outcome is, in all likelihood, a few extra scraped knees.

In the 7-2 ruling, the justices sided with Missouri's Trinity Lutheran Church, which had been denied state funding for a playground improvement project.

The Columbia, Missouri, church had sought the grant under a state program that reimburses nonprofit organizations that install playground surfaces made from recycled tires.

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, on the other hand, filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the constitutional prohibition on state aid to churches.

Germany's Merkel doesn't tweet, but checks Trump on Twitter
Merkel's parliamentary constituency in northern Germany, where the couple has raised at least eight foster children. Following Merkel's comments, German politicians on Twitter called for a vote to be held as soon as possible.

Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas chose not sign onto a footnote that said the court's approval of funding for Trinity Lutheran only applied to playground funding and not parochial schools overall. "We do not address religious uses of funding or other forms of discrimination".

The Supreme Court rightly recognized that people of faith should not be discriminated against when it comes to government programs that should be made available to all.

Contradicting early predictions of a ruling sharply divided on ideological grounds, Justice Kagan joined the Chief's opinion in full, and Justice Breyer wrote an opinion concurring in the judgment.

Noting that the court presented the case as "a simple case about recycling tires to resurface a playground", Sotomayor countered that the "stakes are higher" in the case, and as a result of the court's ruling.

Rather the justices decided the Missouri case by narrowly focusing on the fact that the preschool was turned down for a state grant for rubberizing its playground exclusively because it was run by a church. The lawsuit held that the use of public funds for private religious school books forced taxpayers to follow religious dictates. Trinity Lutheran, which runs a preschool and daycare center, had wanted a safer surface for its playground.

The St. Louis-based 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015 upheld a trial court's dismissal of the suit.

"After all, that Clause guarantees the free exercise of religion, not just the right to inward belief (or status)", he wrote.

The court's opinion noted that the school was not claiming "any entitlement to a subsidy" but was asserting its "right to participate in a government benefit program without having to disavow its religious character".


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