Washington, D.C. - The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Trinity Lutheran v. Comer Wednesday. Judging by the turnout at the court, religious freedom advocates grasp how significant a case this is for their constitutional protections. At issue is whether a church in Missouri should have access to a state program that provides funds to tire scrap programs that improve the safety of playgrounds. Matt and I went into details Tuesday.
Several conservative and religious leaders spoke at the court Wednesday for a rally hosted by the Conservative Women for America. Surrounded by children wearing #FairPlay hats, the speakers explained why this case is monumental in terms of the rights of religious entities.
"Stop the bullying," one speaker said. "There is a bully on the playground - and that bully is the state of Missouri."
The leaders made sure to put emphasis on the fact that the church and its proponents don't want special treatment - they just want fair treatment.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) could not make the rally but sent along one of his staffers with a statement. This case, Cruz wrote, is "crucial to stop the erosion of constitutional protections."
"This may be the most important case this year" but it should not be a difficult one, he added.
It is "quintessential discrimination" on the part of Missouri, Cruz said. "We must win this case."
Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Christiana Holcomb, in an email to Townhall Tuesday, explained why this case largely deals with religious discrimination - not the separation of church and state.
"It’s a religious discrimination issue," she said. "Every child’s safety matters, and if the state of Missouri is allowed to exclude religious organizations from generally available public benefits, then nothing stops it from also denying police protection or fire services to a church, mosque, or Jewish school."
Townhall will be keeping a close eye on this case. The initial readouts suggest good news is on the way for Trinity Lutheran.
First take out of Trinity Lutheran: With Kagan calling the state's program a "burden on a constitutional right," the church is looking good.— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) April 19, 2017