Newly-confirmed SCOTUS Justice Neil Gorsuch is about to hear his first case—and it’s chock-full of political charged issues, per Fox News, with both arguments of taxpayer funding and religious liberty at play.
The case is Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, and comes after Trinity Lutheran Church sued the state of Missouri for denying public funding to resurface the playground on the church’s property. Missouri denied the request on grounds of a law that prohibits the allocation of state funds to educational institutions with a religious affiliation.
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“With Justice Gorsuch on the bench, who has been fairly protective of religious liberty rights, and indeed apparently fits President Trump’s litmus test of a pro-evangelical religious liberty, everybody will be looking at that case,” said Elizabeth Wydra, president of the left-leaning Constitutional Accountability Center.
The Supreme Court accepted the petition for review back in January 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia was still the senior conservative. His death a month later kept the case on hold, possibly because the eight justices believed they would ultimately tie. Such splits mean no nationwide precedent is set.
The case was put on the SCOTUS schedule just in time for Gorsuch to take the bench.
The reputably-constitutionalist judge will be closely watched by conservatives, as they try to determine what sort of rulings to expect from Gorsuch moving forward.