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Supreme Court of the United States

The Weekly Digest: Oral Arguments for Trinity Lutheran Today!

By James Arnold posted on:
October 17, 2017

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On to the news.




Oral Arguments for Trinity Lutheran Today!


After the long wait, the oral arguments at the Supreme Court in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer are happening today.

We have a lot to cover, so let's jump right in.

First, if you like reading about the case, we've got a number of options for you. We'll begin with this piece, by Nathaniel Bruno. Here's a snippet:

"The bodies and brains of some children should not be subjected to potentially severe playground injuries simply because their child learning center is religiously affiliated. All children are equally valuable. Their bodies and brains are equally deserving of protection, regardless of their religious status. Few would disagree with that.

"By extension, state-administered grant money should be awarded based on merit—in accordance with the health and welfare aims of the particular program—not based on religious affiliation or belief. If the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is permitted to exclude a religiously affiliated child learning center from the grant program solely because it is connected to a church, it will have been given a license to discriminate based on religion. The religion clauses of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution certainly do not countenance such a pernicious result."

You can also read this piece by Alan Sears at Fox News, this piece by Christiana Holcomb at The Hill, or this one by James Gottry over at CNS News.

Second, Kerri Kupec joined The Federalist Radio Hour podcast to discuss the case, which you can listen to here:


Third, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens announced last week "that his administration is reversing policies that previously discriminated against religious organizations." The immediate question for many was how this change impacts Trinity Lutheran's case before the Supreme Court. Fortunately, ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman has the answer:

"The safety of all children matters, whether they attend a religious school or a nonreligious school. The state of Missouri denied the Trinity Lutheran Child Learning Center’s access to a public program that would have made their playground safer—and did so on the basis of religious status, a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. Just as [this] announcement from the governor states, his new directive doesn’t resolve the discriminatory actions that were taken against Trinity Lutheran’s preschool and the attempt to deny Trinity Lutheran its constitutionally protected freedom to participate equally in society."

Finally, over at the ADF blog, Sarah Kramer gives readers a few ways they can pray for the oral arguments:

Here are three things you can be praying for leading up to the arguments:

1. Our clients

Trinity Lutheran has been involved in this lawsuit for several years – they reached out to ADF in 2011 – and the case worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. We ask that you pray for preschool leaders as well as the preschool children and those in the surrounding community. Pray that they will feel God’s presence with them in the courtroom and that they would be strengthened.

2. The ADF attorney arguing the case

ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of US Litigation David Cortman will be arguing before the Supreme Court on Trinity Lutheran’s behalf. Please pray that God will give him wisdom and that the arguments would find favor with the justices. Pray that he would have answers for all of the justices’ questions and that his mind would be focused and clear.

3. The Supreme Court justices

We ask that you pray for the nine Supreme Court justices who will be hearing this case. Pray that they would recognize the value in upholding religious liberty and preventing religious discrimination. Pray that the Lord would soften their hearts toward Trinity Lutheran. Also continue to pray for the justices as they go about preparing a decision after the oral arguments.

Tomorrow, we'll have the scoop on the oral arguments themselves. Be sure to follow ADF on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates throughout the day.

As always, you can receive the Alliance Alert Daily Digest right in your inbox. Subscribe by clicking here.

James Arnold

James Arnold

News and Research Manager

James Arnold manages and edits the Alliance Alert, a daily repository of news in all forms—written, spoken, or in video format.

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