John Roberts

Supreme Court sides with religious institutions in a major church-state decision

Supreme Court sides with religious institutions in a major church-state decision

The Supreme Court ended its term Monday with a major First Amendment decision, ruling that efforts at separating church and state go too far when they deny religious institutions access to government grants meant for a secular purpose.

In siding with a Missouri church that had been denied money to resurface its playground, the court ruled 7-2 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...

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