Thursday, 15 November, 2018

State has little comment on abortion law suit

New Jersey Sports Betting Update NJ Implores SCOTUS To Take Case After SG Advises Otherwise New Jersey Sports Betting Update NJ Implores SCOTUS To Take Case After SG Advises Otherwise by J.R. Duren | Jun 20 2017 | News
Stacy Diaz | 29 June, 2017, 09:02

The nation's high court ruled Monday that Missouri violated the First Amendment rights of Trinity Lutheran Church when it did not reimburse the church for the installation of a playground surface because of a provision in the Missouri Constitution that bars the use of state dollars for religious uses. The high court was issuing its last decisions in its current term, which ends June 30.

In that case, the justices sided with a Missouri church that objected when the state denied it access to public funds for a playground improvement project.

DeVos has long advocated using vouchers to pay for tuition at private religious schools, and it was clear that she saw Monday's ruling as an opening for dismantling so-called Blaine Amendments, provisions in 37 states that ban using public money toward religious institutions, including schools.

"The exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, exclusively because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and can not stand", Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion. Ultimately, the Court's decision ensures that states continue, in line with the demands of the federal constitution, to withhold government funds from religious activities.

The intent, it would seem, was to keep this ruling narrow and focused only on this case. When they applied for the grant, they were considered a strong candidate for the program. Importantly, both parties agreed that the U.S. Constitution allowed Missouri to give the church money for a non-religious use, like resurfacing a playground. The church operates a preschool with a playground on its premises. We do not address religious uses of funding or other forms of discrimination.

Holly Hollman, counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee, said the ruling "upends precedent and adds confusion to the law".

Comer, a seven-person majority held that the state of Missouri could not single out faith-based organizations for exclusion from grants that would have paid for property maintenance.

A Colorado clash between gay rights and religion started as an angry Facebook posting about a wedding cake but now has big implications for anti-discrimination laws in 22 states. Like Phillips in Colorado, the OR bakery owners - Melissa and Aaron Klein - refused to make a wedding cake for same-sex ceremonies due to their Christian beliefs.

But in a state like IL, which was approaching its third year without a budget Tuesday, the Blessed Sacrament principal said her school would not rely on grants from public entities.

But the ACLU argues Colorado law bars any business, open to the public, from refusing service based on sexual orientation.

Phillips argues he turned away Charlie Craig and David Mullins not because they are gay, but because their wedding violated his religious belief. Its justices will meet after they receive the U.S. Supreme Court's order and decide how to proceed with the case, which could involve calling for more written arguments from the lawyers involved or scheduling another hearing.

The ruling "puts state aid to synagogues (and other houses of worship) and parochial schools for security and safety measures on an explicit and solid constitutional footing", Nathan Diament, director of the Washington O.U. Advocacy Center, said in a statement.