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Should a City Stop the Fire Department from Putting out a Fire at a Church?

In what’s being heralded as “the term’s remaining marquee case,” Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer—“The Playground Case”—is set to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 19. It will also be one of the first cases Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch will hear.

The case concerns a religious preschool that a Missouri agency rejected from a state program that provides reimbursement grants to purchase a safer, rubberized playground surface (made from recycled tire scraps).

Although the state ranked the center as highly qualified for the program, the state ultimately denied the preschool a grant solely because the playground belongs to a religious organization.

At its core, the playground case strikes at the heart of American jurisprudence, asking, “What is #FairPlay in a pluralistic society”?

In this week’s Freedom Matters, we join legal experts Erik Stanley, attorney for Trinity Lutheran and Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, and Daniel Mach of the American Civil Liberties Union for a debate on the merits and implications of the Trinity Lutheran case.

Taking on the role of Supreme Court “justices,” USA Today’s Rich Wolf, SCOTUSblog’s Amy Howe, and Bloomberg BNA’s Kimberly Robinson will moderate the debate.


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Bob Trent

Vice President of Public Relations

Bob Trent serves as vice president of public relations with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Trent oversees all media and public relations efforts for the organization.

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