USCCB Chairman Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision Protecting Religious Liberty

June 26, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON–Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of TrinityLutheran Church v. Comer, in which the Court held that the exclusion ofchurches from an otherwiseavailable public benefit violates the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S.Constitution. Trinity Lutheran's preschool sought to participate in theState of Missouri's scrap tire program, which would have allowed it to repaveits playground with recycled tire pieces in order to provide a softer and saferplayground surface for children.

ArchbishopWilliam E. Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Ad Hoc Committeefor Religious Liberty, offered the following statement in response:

"Today'sdecision is a landmark victory for religious freedom. The Supreme Courtrightly recognized that people of faith should not be discriminated againstwhen it comes to government programs that should be made available toall. The decision also marks a step in the right direction towardlimiting the effects of the pernicious Blaine Amendments that are in place inmany states around the country. Blaine Amendments to state constitutions,most of which date back to the nineteenth century, stem from a time of intenseanti-Catholic bigotry in many parts of the country. We are glad to seethe Supreme Court move toward limiting these harmful provisions, which haverestricted the freedom of faith-based organizations and people of faith toserve their communities."

The amicus curiae brief that USCCBsubmitted in this case: Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley.

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Keywords:United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, U.S. Supreme Court,Archbishop William E. Lori, religious freedom, religious liberty, TrinityLutheran, Blaine Amendments.

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