An early read on SCOTUS church-state case

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

U.S. Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme Court justices, including the newest member, seem to be siding with a religious organization in a state-versus-church case. That's according to an observer who was there to hear the arguments.

Earlier today, the high court heard a Missouri church's challenge to its exclusion from a state program that provides grants to use scrap tires to cushion school playgrounds. Trinity Lutheran Church's school in Columbia qualified close to the top of the list of organizations to receive such grants, but the state rejected the church's grant on the basis of government entanglement in religion.

Travis Weber of the Family Research Council attended arguments and says justices focused on constitutional issues: the First and Fourth Amendments.

"You know, it's important the court decide this case because it's ultimately about whether religious groups, churches, religious people can be treated unfairly and discriminated against and whether it's permissible to treat non-religious actors and entities and people better than them," he tells OneNewsNow. "That's ultimately what the case is about."

Justices directed some pointed questions to Missouri's attorney, James Layton, about religious freedom. Newly sworn Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch was among them.

"He did very well," Weber says of Gorsuch's inquiries. "He did not chime in a lot, but when he did he clearly showed that he was not buying the state's argument here ...."

Weber

Weber predicts a ruling favoring the church. "I am very optimistic ... At least seven justices, I think, indicated their support for Trinity Lutheran here," he offers. "It's tough to get a gauge on Justice Ginsberg or Justice Sotomayor, but this decision might be unanimous. I think it's likely at least 7-2."

Although Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued an order last week reversing the state's earlier decision, the case moved forward at the Supreme Court because of the more important constitutional issues.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

How would you respond if a basketball player continued to warm-up during the national anthem?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Palestinian official balking at US 'extortion or pressure'
Latest: Hariri will return to Lebanon soon amidst crisis
Latest: Ryan Seacrest denies inappropriate behavior
100 full moons: Blazing fireball lights up Arctic sky
U.S. puts Palestinians on notice: DC office may be shuttered
California's legal pot countdown: What's coming by Jan. 1
Nevada wants to use untried execution drugs that pose risks

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Progressives call for replacing Al Franken with Keith Ellison as support for resignation builds
GOP official in NH urges Bill Clinton's name be dropped from state Democratic dinner
US Navy: U.S. destroyer slightly damaged in collision w/tug off Japan
'Enormous number' of parasites in N. Korean defector's body, doctors say
Al Franken falls from 'Democratic darling to dirty old man'

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Trump vows to fight but bureaucracy vows to block

judge banging gavelA former U.S. Justice Department attorney says it won't be so easy for the Trump-led DOJ to defeat a federal judge's order that blocked the President's plan to withhold funds from "sanctuary cities."