Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley

Posted: November 1, 2016 by beguide in case summaries, Fantasy Supreme Court League, Religious Freedom, Uncategorized

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For each case in the podcast and the Fantasy League, we will provide of a brief summary of what is at issue and what you need to worry about.

WHAT HAPPENED: Trinity Lutheran is a daycare facility located in the State of Missouri.  Missouri has a clause within their Constitutional that bars the State from providing funds to religious institutions.  The rubber meets the road (pun intended) in this case when Trinity is rejected for a grant under a Missouri program that uses recycled materials to help repave blacktop, under the guise that Missouri cannot provide any government funds to religious institutions.
WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT: While this case may seem ticky-tacky, this is exactly the kind of bullshit that comes before the Supreme Court when it comes to religion and government.  The seminal First Amendment religion cases of the last ten years have dealt with Ten Commandment statutes, Christmas displays and the pledge of allegiance, so this fits right in line with the Court dealing with massive social issues through the highly sophisticated prism of playground supplies.
WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS: The ramifications of this case depend on how you view the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment, which in turn bar the government from adopting religion and punishing you for practicing your religion respectively.  If you believe the First Amendment serves as the referee in the battle between people and the Church influencing government, this case could signal less restrictions on government funding of religion.  If you believe the First Amendment serves as the referee in the battle between Satan and the soul of mankind, this case could signal the governments godless march to eternal damnation.  If you are sort of indifferent either way, than this case determines whether a day care gets a new playground.
ROOT FOR TRINITY if (a) you believe that the current state of the First Amendment ignores the cultural reality of a spiritual United States, and/or (b) your kid goes to this day care and it would be nice to have new blacktop.
ROOT FOR PAULEY if (a) you believe that politicians using funds on beliefs you do not subscribe to is the antithesis of the Constitution, and/or (b) you don’t want this day care to get new black top.
PREDICTION- 6-2 in favor of Trinity Church
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Comments
  1. Jason Loupe says:

    I think Trinity being a church is irrelevant. The playground is for the daycare (children)!

    Like

    • Nazim says:

      In theory, I agree.

      In practice, we have to abide by the rules we write in the most neutral way possible, which makes playgrounds owned by religious institutions trigger laws concerning religious institutions. A solution would be to generalize the concerns that were the source of those laws in the first place into law, instead of focusing on the specific institutions that embody those concerns. However, generalized laws are much tougher to enforce…

      Like

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