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Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trinity Lutheran Church and Religious Freedom

In April, the Justices of the United States Supreme Court will hear a significant religious freedom case concerning the proper interpretation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights. The case is styled Trinity Lutheran v. Pauley.

The Lutheran parish after which the case is named probably never anticipated it would play an historic role in legal history.

But, it will.

This case is but one example why the quick approval of Neil Gorsuch by the Senate is crucial. Efforts to derail this highly-qualified judge, couched in sophistry and feigned concerns about suitability, are a concerted effort by left wing politicians and interest groups to prevent him from ending their continued misuse of the courts.

Case and Controversy

Trinity Lutheran Church provides a daycare service complete with a playground also open to children in the neighborhood. The State of Missouri offers grants to non-profit organizations to enable them to install safer rubber surfaces made from recycled tires to replace gravel on playgrounds. In 2012, the church applied for such a grant. Its application was well written and fully complied with the requirements. In fact, it ranked fifth out of forty-five applications.

The application was denied because Trinity Lutheran is a church. “What?,” you may ask. “Isn’t such hostility toward a church unconstitutional?” Well, not in states with so-called Blaine Amendments. Missouri is one of those states.

Some history will put the matter in context.

Read more at The Stream.

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