What Gorsuch Means for Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer

The outcome of pending cases is harder to predict now that Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed to the Supreme Court. With a seat vacant over the past year, the court had only three conservative justices and so tilted to the left. The most conservatives could hope for was a four-four tie if Anthony Kennedy voted with them. With Gorsuch, the court reverts to its four-four split between the left and the right, with Kennedy as the swing vote.

One case to watch is Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. ComerIt’s the most important religious freedom case SCOTUS will consider during the 2017 term. Gorsuch has a record of ruling in favor of religious freedom.

This Isn’t Just About a Playground …

Trinity Lutheran Church runs a child learning center in Missouri, and applied to the state’s Playground Scrap Tire Surface Materials Grant Program. The program recycles scrap rubber tires into rubber surfaces. This makes playgrounds safer for children and reduces the number of tires in landfills. The program is funded by a fee on tires.

The church serves an impoverished area. Children in the community use the playground after hours and on the weekends. Over 90 percent of the children who attend the preschool do not attend the church. The church’s application was ranked fifth out of 44 applicants. Fourteen applicants were awarded grants.

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

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