The Claremont Institute

April 20 CCJ Town Hall: Religious Liberty and A New Justice

April 20, 2017

In this episode Dr. John C. Eastman, Founding Director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, and his guest Joseph Tartakovsky, Nevada Deputy Solicitor General and the Claremont Institute's James Wilson Fellow in Constitutional Law, discuss religious discrimination issues within Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer

This case was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on April 19th. The issue before the Court involves the Missouri Department of Natural Resources denial of a state grant to resurface a playground at a child-learning center in Missouri solely because a church operates the center. The church argued that its exclusion from a state run program, whose purpose is to assist non-profit organizations with obtaining rubber playground surfaces, is a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause by discriminating against religious institutions. Meanwhile, the state argued that there is no constitutional violation because the church can still run its learning center, and the state constitution forbids government aid to educational institutions that have a religious affiliation.  

Additionally, Dr. Eastman was joined by Professor Anthony T. Caso to take a look at what Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court may mean for our efforts to roll back the administrative state and restore the constitution’s limitations on executive power. Professor Caso is the Director of our Constitutional Jurisprudence Clinic at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law.