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Supreme Court of the United States

Bronx Household of Faith Wins Permanent Injunction Against NYC School Policy Banning Worship Services

By Jordan Lorence posted on:
October 17, 2017

Bronx Household of Faith won a permanent injunction June 29 allowing private groups to conduct worship services in empty public schools during non-school hours.  Judge Loretta Preska issued the order, ruling that New York City's ban on worship services in the public schools violates the church's rights under the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  This excellent decision rightly found that when the government uses religion as the factor that disqualifies a community group from using a school building, the government violates the unique protections the First Amendment grants to religious liberty.

New York City will likely appeal the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  It may be more challenging to convince the Second Circuit to agree with the District Court's ruling in favor of religious liberty, because the Second Circuit has ruled both for and against the policy in the past.  The Second Circuit in February said that it would rule before school starts in early September.  If the Second Circuit reverses and upholds the ban on worship services, Alliance Defending Freedom will likely appeal again to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This means that religious groups will continue to meet in NYC public schools on the same terms and conditions as other groups, at least for the remainder of the summer.

Please continue to pray that this ruling is upheld and support the Alliance Defending Freedom as we continue to fight.

Jordan Lorence

Jordan Lorence

Senior Counsel, Director of Strategic Engagement

Jordan Lorence serves as senior counsel and director of strategic engagement with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he plays a key role with the Strategic Relations and Training Team.

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