Jul 20, 2017
Will a preschool kids' playground turn out to be the path that leads to ending a historic form of discrimination against church-sponsored schools in America?
For the moment, the best answer to that question is "maybe." The question itself suddenly came alive in the wake of an important Supreme Court decision in June declaring that Missouri acted in a manner "odious to our Constitution" (the words are Chief Justice John Roberts') in refusing money from a playground safety fund to a Lutheran church's daycare and preschool only because of their link to the church.
The June 26 decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer was good news for religious interests. Potentially even better news was the Supreme Court's announcement the following day that it was returning four other cases to the state supreme courts in Colorado and New Mexico to be reconsidered in light of Trinity Lutheran.
The three Colorado cases focus on an attempt by a school district to establish a tuition scholarship program for students attending nonpublic schools, some of them religious. The state high court said no.