President Donald Trump introducing Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee at the White House, January 2017

President Donald Trump introducing Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee at the White House, January 2017

Line between church and state separation may get blurred.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the plea filed by Trinity Lutheran Church claiming the state of Missouri has excluded its non-profit daycare center and preschool from a grant program. This program offers funds from the state to pay for educational tools. This is thought to be an important case as it will test the borders of religious rights. If the judicial record of Neil Gorsuch is anything to go by, there is a strong possibility the court will take the side of the church and will challenge the state on banning the funding of religious entities.

The constitution of the state of Missouri does not allow any religious denomination, church or sect from receiving money obtained from tax paying citizens of the state.

Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, restored the 5-4 bias for conservatism in the U.S. Supreme Court. He is known to have accepted a broader view of all religious rights during his time as a court judge in the Colorado federal appeals court. This will be the first arguments he’s heard in his new position as Supreme Court Justice. Gorsuch will be on the bench April 19 when the justices will consider the Trinity Lutheran case. This can be the most important case in the present term.

The U.S. constitution states that there must be a separation between the church and the state. It also guarantees religion can be fully exercised. Trinity Lutheran, on its part, wants public funds so that it can replace the existing gravel present in the children's playground with rubber surface. The recycled surface, made from old tires, is much safer for children to play on.

If Trinity Lutheran gets its way, it will help religious organizations all over the United States to obtain public dollars ostensibly for purposes like safety and health. However, it will also give a stimulus to utilizing public money for having vouchers. This will help to pay for children so that they attend the religious schools and not public schools as in the conservative backed “school choice” programs. In 2015, the top court in Colorado found that a voucher program started by Douglas County violated a constitutional provision mandated by the state. 

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