Friday, January 15, 2016

Supreme Court Grants Review In Missouri Blaine Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today granted certiorari in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, (Docket No. 15-577, cert. granted 1/15/2016) (Order List).  In the case, the the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, rejected arguments that Missouri's Blaine Amendments violate the U.S. Constitution's 1st and 14th Amendments. At issue was the denial by Missouri's Department of Natural Resources of a grant application by Trinity Church for a Playground Scrap Tire Surface Material Grant that would have allowed it to resurface a playground at its day care and preschool facility on church premises. (See prior posting.) The petition for certiorari (full text) framed the Question Presented as follows:
Whether the exclusion of churches from an otherwise neutral and secular aid program violates the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses when the state has no valid Establishment Clause concern.
SCOTUSblog's case page has links to all the briefs.