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Church Probably Can’t Get Public Funding for Stained Glass

March 12, 2018, 11:06 AM

A town’s grant to preserve a church’s stained glass windows likely violates the Massachusetts Constitution, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in a 5-1 decision March 9.

Courts have wrestled with how to determine what the U.S. Constitution’s establishment clause prohibits and what its free exercise clause requires since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer. That decision ruled in favor a church that was denied public playground funds.

“The high court should step in and overrule this wrong decision,” Eric Rassbach, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, Washington,...

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