“The case matters because the court here recognizes the difference between a government establishing a religion and a government choosing not to penalize a religion”, ERLC President Russell Moore wrote in an online article after the court issued its ruling.
The Chief Justice wrote that this was not a case where public funding was being denied because of what the recipient would do with it (impermissibly use taxpayer money for religious purposes).
The ruling “puts state aid to synagogues (and other houses of worship) and parochial schools for security and safety measures on an explicit and solid constitutional footing”, Nathan Diament, director of the Washington O.U. Advocacy Center, said in a statement. Stanford law professor Michael McConnell, a former federal judge, says provisions in other state constitutions that bar direct aid to churches will not be affected by this ruling because this is about state funding for a secular goal. “The opinion went as far as to say it is “odious to our Constitution” to exclude a church-run preschool and eliminate it from a public grant program exclusively because it is a faith-based organization”. Missouri’s new Republican governor, Eric Greitens, reversed the state policy and said churches will be eligible for such grants in the future.Read More