SCOTUS roofWritten by Don Byrd

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning denied a petition in the long-running dispute of Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of City of New York (See Order List). That leaves in place a 2nd Circuit decision upholding New York City’s ban on worship services in public school buildings.

The 2nd Circuit in 2011 rejected a similar challenge to the New York regulation, which Bronx Household argued at the time denied the congregation equal access to the school building because of its viewpoint in violation of the free speech provisions of the First Amendment. The argument the Court declined to hear today claimed the ban violated religious freedom guarantees.

Denying a petition, however, is not the same as making a decision on the issue of the case. As BJC General Counsel Holly Hollman pointed out in a 2012 column, the Supreme Court’s “refusal to review” a case does not “signal formal approval of the outcome.”