Written by Don Byrd
In Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, the court held that even though the Missouri Constitution bars taxpayer funding of religion, the state cannot use Trinity Lutheran’s status as a church alone to exclude it from a secular grant program.
Later in the week, they indicated we might expect the Trinity Lutheran Church ruling to have a wide impact. The Court consolidated and granted the appeal of three cases in Colorado challenging a school voucher program in Douglas County. The Court vacated decisions ruling the program violated the state’s constitution and remanded them, along with a New Mexico case about secular textbooks lent to religious schools, to the Colorado Supreme Court for further consideration “in light of” the Court’s Trinity Lutheran Church ruling.
Meanwhile, advocates and religious liberty experts continue to digest and analyze the opinion and its import. Below are just a few noteworthy links to coverage.
For more analysis of the Trinity Lutheran Church case, I recommend SCOTUSblog’s symposium on the decision. Included is Michigan State University Law Professor Frank Ravitch’s contribution, which contemplates the possible impact of the case on school voucher challenges.
Veteran Supreme Court reporter Lyle Deniston writes the Trinity Lutheran Church case brings “New funding hopes for parochial schools.”
Melissa Rogers explores “Six issues to watch in the Supreme Court’s Trinity Lutheran case” for Religion News Service.
Word and Way Editor Brian Kaylor reports on the decision here.
Church-state experts Ira Lupu and Bob Tuttle published their compelling analysis for the American Constitution Society.
Also see the Baptist Joint Committee’s response to the decision.
I compiled excerpts from Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion and Justice Neil Gorsuch’s concurring opinion in a post earlier this week.
For background on the case, see the BJC’s Trinity Lutheran Church resource page.