Mar 04, 2019

Americans United for Separation of Church and State Legal Director Richard B. Katskee issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision today not to hear Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, a case involving taxpayer dollars funding the repair and maintenance of houses of worship deemed historic:

“The Supreme Court’s decision protects the religious freedom of New Jersey residents by ensuring that their tax dollars are not funding religious activity that they may not support. Public funds should support buildings and programs that benefit all members of the community, not build or repair churches that are used primarily by members of one faith. Historic preservation is a worthwhile cause, but it cannot come at the expense of our core constitutional promise of the separation of religion and government.

“Justice Kavanaugh’s statement on the denial of review, which was joined by Justices Alito and Gorsuch, is troubling, however. Justice Kavanaugh appears to be considering requiring taxpayer funding for religious uses, in ways never before permitted by our Constitution or our courts. This view suggests a hostility toward our fundamental American value of church-state separation, which has protected religious freedom for all.”

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.