Government funding of Scientology "secular" activities under Supreme Court decision?

Discussion in 'Legal and Government Actions Involving Scientology' started by CommunicatorIC, Jun 26, 2017.

View Users: View Users
  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Government funding of Scientology "secular" activities under Supreme Court decision in Trinity Lutheran Church?

    Sarah Pulliam Bailey at the Washington Post has an excellent story today about the Supreme Court's decision in Trinity Lutheran Church.

    Washington Post: The Supreme Court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church. Here’s why that matters.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...-church-heres-why-that-matters/?tid=ss_tw-amp

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    The Supreme Court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church. Here’s why that matters.

    By Sarah Pulliam Bailey June 26 at 2:46 PM

    The Supreme Court’s ruling on a high-profile case involving a church’s day-care playground surfaces will likely be used in church-state battles in the future, experts believe. The decision, released on Monday, involving a church in Missouri was seen as a victory for many advocates and a blow to those who wanted to see a high wall of separation between church and state.

    The ruling has raised questions over state funding of religious institutions’ secular activity, especially what it could mean for school vouchers. The court ruled 7-2 that religious organizations may not be excluded from state programs if they have a secular intent, raising questions over church-state separation without discriminating against those who are religious.

    The specific church involved in the case, Trinity Lutheran Church in Missouri, wanted to participate in a state program that reimburses the cost of rubberizing playground surfaces. The state, however, said Trinity Lutheran was not allowed to participate.

    If the church lost the case, some were worried that religious institutions could be barred from receiving public funding. For instance, could churches be considered ineligible for funding after natural disasters? And why did some justices disagree over a small footnote in the final ruling?

    The question over whether religious institutions should receive government funding has been widely debated since President George W. Bush proposed a faith-based initiative where religious groups could apply for funding to provide social services. Where it gets complicated is the question of what constitutes funding or support for religion by the government, said Charles Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum.

    In the majority opinion, the justices argue that excluding religious groups from this kind of state funding would discriminate against them based on religion. Haynes said he expects religious groups to apply for and receive government funding for a wide range of purposes, even in the 30-plus states that have Blaine Amendments that prohibit state funding of religious organizations, including schools.

    The ruling, said Douglas Laycock, a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, means that Blaine Amendments are unconstitutional in at least some of their applications. “The question is how many applications, or which applications,” he said. “The case is not just about playgrounds.” He expects it will be easier for funds to go to religious institutions. In Colorado, the state court said the state’s Blaine Amendment barred religious schools from participating in a school choice program, and Laycock expects that it will be readdressed by the court.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *


    US SUPREME COURT DECISION IN TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH OF COLUMBIA, INC. V. CORMER, DIRECTOR, MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-577_khlp.pdf
     
  2. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Government funding of Scientology "secular" activities under Supreme Court decisi

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Weighs In.

    https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/20...preme-court-religious-liberty-the-latest.html

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    1:15 p.m.

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is praising a Supreme Court decision that found the state of Missouri violated the First Amendment by denying public money to a church for a playground solely because of its religious status.

    DeVos says the ruling makes clear that "programs designed to help students will no longer be discriminated against by the government based solely on religious affiliation."

    DeVos is a strong proponent of school voucher programs, which use public money to help low-income students attend private schools, including religious ones. Some critics argue using public money for religious school tuition is a violation of the Constitution's separation of church and state.

    The Education Department budget proposal includes more than $1 billion to expand school choice, including $250 million for a nationwide voucher program.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  3. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Government funding of Scientology "secular" activities under Supreme Court decisi

    UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh Weighs In.

    Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, tort law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, and a First Amendment amicus brief clinic at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. Before coming to UCLA, he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    Volokh is the author of the textbooks The First Amendment and Related Statutes (5th ed. 2013), The Religion Clauses and Related Statutes (2005), and Academic Legal Writing (4th ed. 2010), as well as over 75 law review articles.

    The article only briefly excerpted below is long, detailed, thorough and excellent. I suggest you read it all.

    Washington Post: The Volokh Conspiracy - Opinion - When may the government discriminate against religious institutions?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...eligious-institutions/?utm_term=.439982899ea2

    * * * * * BEGIN CONCLUSION * * * * *

    But in any event, whatever you think is the right answer, the majority opinion is a powerful precedent for equal treatment for religious institutions, in the many benefit programs administered by the modern welfare state.

    * * * * * END CONCLUSION * * * * *
     
  4. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Government funding of Scientology "secular" activities under Supreme Court decisi

    The Supreme Court’s ruling in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer threatens to obliterate the divide between church and state.

    Slate: Goodbye, Establishment Clause - The Supreme Court’s ruling in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer threatens to obliterate the divide between church and state.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_...rate_the_divide_between_church_and_state.html

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Does the Constitution sometimes obligate states to subsidize religion? On Monday, the Supreme Court said it does. According to the court’s 7–2 ruling in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, when a state makes a funding program available to the public, it cannot deny funds to a church because of its status as a religious organization. This sets a dangerous precedent, one that betrays the court’s historical commitment to true religious freedom and threatens to obliterate the divide between church and state.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * *
     
  5. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Government funding of Scientology "secular" activities under Supreme Court decisi

    UGHH. Again James Madison would be rolling over in his grave and might even present an amicus curiae brief regarding the meaning of 'estabilish' which as I understand it at the time the 1st amendment was accepted and certainly when it was drafted included the concept of giving financial or other support to an entity. This to my understanding, is what Madison wanted to prevent when he saw a church in Virginia demanding the funding of the public purse controlled by the government of the people and not a government of dogmatic belief and certainly not religious belief. Why? Because he saw too much history of the collusion between them with led to oppression which of course we can see from the crusades etc.
    He wanted NO pro-active support especially to any entity claiming itself as a religion from the House of Government. They were to make their own way and since the public purse is public funds no person should be required to support another belief.
    In fact he further argued that the support should be derived from the demonstrated benefit to the community and anything outside of the benefit would in itself be demonstration of a religion which is unable to stand on its own because it was not of sufficient honor or virtue as adjudicated by the court of public opinion.

    Anyone have a dictionary with the etymology going back into the 1760's for the word establish? okay from the latin to make stable or build.

    ETA
    Why if the SCOTUS is going to even discuss the Constitution and its amendments don't the judges study the formation of it so they can understand the import of the words and arguments used in its formulation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  6. WhatWall

    WhatWall Silver Meritorious Patron

    Re: Government funding of Scientology "secular" activities under Supreme Court decisi

    Relevant to this discussion is why any entity or person should be subsidized by the federal, state or local gov't: Not Yours to Give

    Note: Whether the incident described in "Not Yours to Give" actually occurred is debatable, but the principles are sound.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  7. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Re: Government funding of Scientology "secular" activities under Supreme Court decisi

    Church of Scientology Notes Supreme Court Decision Backing A Church's Right To Receive Government Funds for Secular Purpose.

    Code:
    https://www.scientologyreligion.org/blog/supreme-court-backs-church-appeal-to-receive-government-funds-for-secular-purpose.html
    [​IMG]


    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Supreme Court Backs Church Appeal to Receive Government Funds for Secular Purpose

    June 28, 2017 • Religious Freedom

    In a 7-2 decision June 26, the United States Supreme Court sided with a Missouri church that had been denied government money to resurface its playground. The court ruled that excluding churches from state programs for which other charitable groups are eligible is a violation of the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion.

    “The consequence is, in all likelihood, a few extra scraped knees,” wrote Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. “But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.” He went on to state, “In this case, there is no dispute that Trinity Lutheran is put to the choice between being a church and receiving a government benefit… The rule is simple: No churches need apply.”

    [SNIP]

    Read the full text of the decision here.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     

Share This Page