Newly sworn in Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch is jumping straight into the fires of justice as the high court has agreed to hear the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, challenge to a state law.
Missouri, like some other states has a state law that forbids any state money or grants from being used by private or religious schooling. The church is challenging the constitutionality of the law, claiming it is violating their First Amendment right of freedom of religion.
The issue arose when the state had a program of providing funds for schools to purchase ground-up tires to be used on the playgrounds to help provide a safer environment for kids to play.
When the state refused to include the church’s school in the program, the church filed their lawsuit, challenging the law. Many are viewing this as an issue of separation of church and state, even though there is nothing in the Constitution stating anything about a separation. It’s possible that Gorsuch could be the deciding vote in this case…