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Justice Gorsuch hears major SCOTUS case on church-state separation

by AirTalk®

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Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks during the first day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Upstart Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch will  tackle a major separation of church and state case today.

The country’s highest court is hearing oral arguments on Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer. The case stems from a lawsuit brought by the Missouri-based church Trinity Lutheran against the state’s Department of Natural Resources after it was denied a grant to repave its school playground.

Under Missouri’s constitution, religious organizations are barred from using state money, and Trinity argues that, among other things, it was being discriminated against on religious grounds.

The case has enormous implications, and is being closely watched. Opponents of the lawsuit  believe that a ruling in favor of Trinity could open up religious organizations and schools to receiving state money at the expense of public school systems.


Lawrence Hurley, reporter covering the US Supreme Court for Reuters; he was at this morning’s oral arguments

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defense organization specializing in religious issues headquartered in Sacramento

Jenny Pizer, senior counsel and law and policy director for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., a national organization advocating for LGBTQ rights; the Lambda Legal Defense fund has filed an amicus brief on the case

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