A Key Victory for Americans’ Right to Religious Liberty”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement on Monday, June 26, praising the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court marks a key victory for Americans’ right to religious liberty, a fundamental freedom that we have enjoyed since the founding of our nation,” said Blunt. “I commend the Court’s decision, which affirms that the government cannot categorically deny benefits to Trinity Lutheran, or any religious organization, simply because they are religious.”
Trinity Lutheran Church, which is located in Columbia, Mo., filed suit after being denied public funds to replace its preschool playground’s gravel surface with a softer, safer material. The grant funding is made available through a state program aimed at improving recreational equipment safety. The State of Missouri denied the grant funding because the playground is owned by Trinity Lutheran, a religious organization.
Last year, Blunt led members of Congress in filing an amicus brief in support of Trinity Lutheran. In the brief, Blunt wrote that the application of Missouri’s Blaine Amendment, which prohibits the use of public funds “in aid of any church,” in this case is a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of govern-ment neutrality toward religion, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.