122 Penn Statim 14 (2018)

handle is hein.journals/statim122 and id is 1 raw text is: 






122 PENN STATE LAW  REVIEW  PENN  STATIM 14


  Trinity Lutheran v. Comer:  Footnote 3, Gorsuch's Opinion
             and Scalia's Legacy of a Law of Rules

                     Tobias A. Mattei, MD'

                          April 19, 2018

       On  June 26, 2017, the U.S Supreme  Court announced  its
decision on Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, INC. v. Comer,
Director, Missouri Department   of Natural Resources.'  Briefly
summarizing,  the case  involved a  claim by  Trinity Lutheran
Church  regarding a denial of eligibility by the Department of
Natural Resources for a Missouri State grant that would enable the
installation of rubber-based surfaces made from recycled tires to
the playground  of the Child  Learning Center  operated by the
Church.  According  to the plaintiff, such denial constituted a
violation of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. The
Supreme  Court reversed the United States District Court for the
Western District of Missouri as well as the Eighth Circuit ruling to
dismiss the case, both of which had strongly based their decision
on the precedent  established by Locke v. Davey,2 in which the
Supreme  Court upheld the Washington  State decision not to fund
degrees  in devotional theology  as  part of a  state-sponsored
scholarship program.
       In its final decision, the Supreme Court affirmed that the
Missouri  Department's policy did violate the rights of Trinity
Lutheran under the Free Exercise Clause by denying the Church an
otherwise general and publicly available benefit solely on account
of its religious status. Justices Kennedy, Alito and Kagan joined


Neurosurgeon at Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor/ME.

1 Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, 582 US _  (2017).


2 Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712 (2004).

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