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Here Are Some Interesting State Races You Might Have Missed

Yesterday, AU’s Communications Director Rob Boston wrote a blog post about the Religious Right-empowered issues the United States may face if the Trump administration implements some of its campaign’s talking points, and Legislative Director Maggie Garrett discussed the results of some ballot referenda.

Missouri’s Amendment 3 Is A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

By Cynthia Holmes and The Rev. Rudy Pulido

Missouri voters will be asked to vote on several ballot initiatives on Nov. 8. As the president and vice president of  AU’s St. Louis Chapter, we hope that Missourians will vote no on Amendment 3 because it would strip religious freedom protections from our state constitution.

Amendment 3 is officially titled the Early Childhood Health and Education Amendment. Its stated purpose is to improve health care and increase access to early childhood education opportunities by implementing a tax on cigarettes.

AU Files Court Brief In Mo. Church Playground Tax-Funding Case

Missouri is not obligated to give a grant to a church for the purpose of refurbishing its religious pre­school’s playground, Americans Uni­ted said in a recent friend-of-the-court brief.

The brief was filed in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Col­um­bia, Inc. v. Pauley and submitted to the Supreme Court in July by Americans United and seven allied groups.

In the brief, the organizations explained that Missouri’s decision to offer grants only to secular organizations is not unconstitutional. 

Taxing Case: Pending Supreme Court Controversy Could Lead To More Public Support For Religion

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part blog post by Carmen Green, a Madison Fellow in AU’s Legal Department. Read the second part here.

Back in January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that has the potential to change church-state law dramatically – and not for the better.

Mo. Church Has No Right To Taxpayer Funds, Americans United And Allies Tell U.S. Supreme Court

High Court Should Uphold State ‘No-Aid’ Clauses, Coalition Says

Missouri is not obligated to give a grant to a church for the purpose of refurbishing its religious preschool’s playground, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.

In a friend-of-the-court brief in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley submitted today to the U.S. Supreme Court by Americans United and seven allied groups, the organizations explain that Missouri’s decision to offer grants only to secular organizations is not unconstitutional. 

St. Louis Bishop’s Attack On Girl Scouts Backfires As Cookie Sales Skyrocket

A Missouri chapter of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. recently raised a record amount of money at its annual fundraiser, thanks in part to a backlash to critical comments from a prominent Catholic cleric.

In a February missive, Roman Catholic Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis slammed the Girl Scouts for supposedly promoting ideas that are “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine.

Shredding The First Amendment?

Four years ago, officials at Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., decided they would like to resurface a playground at the church’s religious preschool – and that taxpayers should pick up the tab for it.

Under a state program, aid was available for such projects through a program that awarded grants to purchase recycled tires – but not for houses of worship. The church sued, and its attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a large Religious Right group, made a startling claim: The church has a constitutional right to taxpayer support.

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