Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Supreme Court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church. Here’s why that matters.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on a high-profile case involving a church’s day-care playground surfaces will likely be used in church-state battles in the future, experts believe. The decision, released on Monday, involving a church in Missouri was seen as a victory for many advocates and a blow to those who wanted to see a high wall of separation between church and state. The ruling has raised questions over state funding of religious institutions’ secular activity, especially what it could mean for school vouchers. The court ruled 7-2 that religious organizations may not be excluded from state programs if they have a secular intent, raising questions over church-state separation without discriminating against those who are religious. The specific church involved in the case, Trinity Lutheran Church in Missouri, wanted to participate in a state program that reimburses the cost of rubberizing playground surfaces. The state, however, said Trinity Lutheran was not allowed to participate.

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