Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Supreme Court Denies Cert. In Bronx Household of Faith Case

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday denied certiorari in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York, (Docket No. 14-354, cert. denied 3/30/2015). (Order List).  In the widely watched case, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision held that the Board of Education of the City of New York did not violate the free exercise clause when in 2007 it changed its rules to bar the use of school facilities by churches for religious worship services. (See prior posting.)  The New York Times, reporting on the denial of review, says:
The decision permits Mayor Bill de Blasio to expel immediately dozens of religious organizations that have been holding worship services in city school buildings after hours and on weekends. But consistent with a pledge the mayor made during his campaign to lift the prohibition, a spokesman said on Monday that the city remained committed to allowing churches to use the schools on the same grounds as other organizations.
“Now that litigation has concluded, the city will develop rules of the road that respect the rights of both religious groups and nonparticipants,” the spokesman, Wiley Norvell, said in a statement. “While we review and revise the rules, groups currently permitted to use schools for worship will continue to be able to worship on school premises.”