Does the exclusion of churches from an otherwise neutral and secular government aid program violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment?
That’s the central question in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, one of the most important cases at the Supreme Court this term. The Court’s decision may be a landmark in the ongoing competition between “neutralist” and “separatist” visions of the relationship between church and state.
Joining We the People to discuss the issues and best arguments in Trinity Lutheran are two of America’s leading experts on religious liberty and the Constitution.
Marci Hamilton is a Fox Family Pavilion Distinguished Scholar in Residence in the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania, and holds the Paul R. Verkuil Research Chair at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. She also wrote about the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment with Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School for the Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution.
Hannah Smith is Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. She was a member of the legal team that won some of the biggest religion cases in recent years, including Holt v. Hobbs and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.
Sign up to receive Constitution Weekly, our email roundup of constitutional news and debate, at bit.ly/constitutionweekly.
We the People is a member of Slate’s Panoply network. Check out the full roster of podcasts at Panoply.fm.
Despite our congressional charter, the National Constitution Center is a private nonprofit; we receive little government support, and we rely on the generosity of people around the country who are inspired by our nonpartisan mission of constitutional debate and education. Please consider becoming a member to support our work, including this podcast. Visit constitutioncenter.org to learn more.
Recent Stories on Constitution Daily