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Case Profile

Docket Number15-577
Term2016
Full NameTrinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Short NameTrinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
PetitionerTrinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc.
RespondentSara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Date Argued (Reargued)April 19, 2017
Date DecidedJune 26, 2017

Question Presented

Trinity Lutheran Church applied for Missouri's Scrap Tire Grant Program so that it could provide a safer playground for children who attend its daycare and for neighborhood children who use the playground after hours--a purely secular matter. But the state denied Trinity's application solely because it is a church. The Eighth Circuit affirmed that denial by equating a grant to resurface Trinity's playground using scrap tire material with funding the devotional training of clergy. The Eighth Circuit's decision was not faithful to this Court's ruling in Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712 (2004), and deepened an existing circuit conflict. Three lower courts--two courts of appeals and one state supreme court--interpret Locke as justifying the exclusion of religion from a neutral aid program where no valid Establishment Clause concern exists. In contrast, two courts of appeals remain faithful to Locke and the unique historical concerns on which it relied. The question presented is: Whether the exclusion of churches from an otherwise neutral and secular aid program violates the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses when the state has no valid Establishment Clause concern.

Case Events

NoDateDescription
62 2017-04-19Argued. For petitioner: David A. Cortman, Lawrenceville, Ga. For respondent: James R. Layton, Jefferson City, Mo.
61 2017-04-18Letter of respondent pursuant to April 14, 2017 request of Clerk filed. (Distributed)
60 2017-04-18Letter of petitioner pursuant to April 14, 2017 request of Clerk filed. (Distributed)
59 2017-04-14Request from the Clerk that the parties submit their views on whether this case is affected by the press release relating to access to Missouri grant programs issued by Governor Greitens on April 13, 2017. The parties' views should be in the form of a letter delivered to the Court and served upon counsel by noon on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
58 2017-03-02CIRCULATED.
57 2017-03-02Record received from the U.S.C.A. 8th Circuit (1 box).
56 2017-02-24Record requested from the U.S.C.A. 8th Circuit.
55 2017-02-17SET FOR ARGUMENT ON Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
54 2016-08-12Reply of petitioner Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. filed.
53 2016-07-25Application (16A78) granted by Justice Alito extending the time to file until August 12, 2016.
52 2016-07-22Application (16A78) to extend the time to file a reply brief from July 28, 2016 to August 12, 2016, submitted to Justice Alito.
51 2016-07-05Brief amicus curiae of The National Education Association filed.
50 2016-07-05Brief amicus curiae of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. filed.
49 2016-07-05Brief amici curiae of Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and General Synod of The United Church of Christ filed.
48 2016-07-05Brief amici curiae of Legal and Religious Historians filed.
47 2016-07-05Brief amici curiae of Religious and Civil Rights Organizations filed.
46 2016-07-05Brief amici curiae of American Civil Liberties Union, et al. filed.
45 2016-06-28Brief of respondent Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources filed.
44 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of WallBuilders, Inc. filed.
43 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of Liberty Counsel, et al. filed.
42 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, et al. filed.
41 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of Colorado filed.
40 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of Christian Legal Society, et al. filed.
39 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of The Cato Institute filed.
38 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of Law and Religion Practitioners filed.
37 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of Belmont Abbey College filed.
36 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of The General Council of the Assemblies of God filed.
35 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of Nevada, et al. filed.
34 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of Pacific Legal Foundation filed.
33 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of National Association of Evangelicals filed.
32 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of Douglas County School District, et al. filed.
31 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of Institute for Justice filed.
30 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, et al. filed.
29 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of Members of Congress filed.
28 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of American Association of Christian Schools filed.
27 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance filed.
26 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of The Bronx Household of Faith filed.
25 2016-04-21Brief amici curiae of Association of Christian Schools International, and Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod filed.
24 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission filed.
23 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed.
22 2016-04-21Brief amicus curiae of American Jewish Committee in support of neither party filed.
21 2016-04-20Brief amicus curiae of Justice and Freedom Fund filed.
20 2016-04-20Brief amicus curiae of The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America filed.
19 2016-04-19Brief amicus curiae of The American Center for Law & Justice filed.
18 2016-04-18Brief amicus curiae of World Vision, Inc. filed.
17 2016-04-14Brief of petitioner Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. filed.
16 2016-04-14Joint appendix filed. (Statement of costs filed.)
15 2016-03-17Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for the petitioner.
14 2016-02-09The time to file respondent's brief on the merits is extended to and including June 28, 2016.
13 2016-02-09The time to file the joint appendix and petitioner's brief on the merits is extended to and including April 14, 2016.
12 2016-01-15Petition GRANTED.
11 2016-01-11DISTRIBUTED for Conference of January 15, 2016.
10 2015-12-22DISTRIBUTED for Conference of January 8, 2016.
9 2015-12-18Reply of petitioner Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. filed.
8 2015-12-07Brief amicus curiae of Foundation for Moral Law filed. (Distributed)
7 2015-12-07Brief amicus curiae of Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission filed.
6 2015-12-07Brief of respondent Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources in opposition filed.
5 2015-12-07Brief amici curiae of Nevada, et al. filed.
4 2015-12-07Brief amicus curiae of The American Center for Law & Justice filed.
3 2015-12-07Brief amici curiae of Association of Christian Schools International, and Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod filed.
2 2015-12-03Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for petitioner.
1 2015-11-04Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due December 7, 2015)

Case Counsels

NameParty NameDescriptionAddressPhoneType
Aaron M. StreettMembers of CongressAmicusBaker Botts, L.L.P. 910 Louisiana Street Houston, TX 77002-4995 aaron.streett@bakerbotts.com(713) 229-1855other
Allison Jones RushingThe Bronx Household of FaithAmicus725 Twelfth Street, NW Washington, DC 20005 ajones@wc.com(202) 434-5000other
Andrew J. PincusReligious and Civil Rights OrganizationsAmicusMayer Brown LLP 1999 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 apincus@mayerbrown.com(202) 263-3000other
Camilla B. TaylorLambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.AmicusLambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. 105 W. Adams Street Suite 2600 Chicago, IL 60603 ctaylor@lambdalegal.org(312) 663-4413other
C. Kevin MarshallInstitutional Religious Freedom AllianceAmicusJones Day 51 Louisiana Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 ckmarshall@jonesday.com(202) 879-3939other
Darryl P. RainsThe General Council of the Assemblies of GodAmicus755 Page Mill Road Palo Alto, CA 94304 DRains@mofo.com(650) 813-5600other
David A. CortmanTrinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc.Counsel of RecordAlliance Defending Freedom 440 1st Street N.W., Suite 600 Washington, DC 20001 dcortman@adflegal.org(202) 393-8690petitioner
David I. SchoenLaw and Religion PractitionersAmicus2800 Zelda Road Suite 100-6 Montgomery, AL 36106 dschoen593@aol.com(334) 395-6611other
Douglas B. MishkinLegal and Religious HistoriansAmicusVenable LLP 575 7th Street, NW Washington, DC 20004 dbmishkin@venable.com(202) 344-4000other
Douglas R. CoxAssociation of Christian Schools International, et al.AmicusGibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036-5306 dcox@gibsondunn.com(202) 530-9539other
Eric D. McArthurUnited States Conference of Catholic Bishops, et al.AmicusSidley Austin LLP 1501 K Street NW Washington, DC 20005 emcarthur@sidley.com(202) 736-8000other
Eugene VolokhWorld Vision, Inc.AmicusScott & Cyan Banister First Amendment Clinic UCLA School of Law 405 Hilgard Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90095 volokh@law.ucla.edu(310) 206-3926other
Gene C. SchaerrCouncil for Christian Colleges and Universities, et al.AmicusSchaerr l Duncan, LLP 1717 K Street, NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20006 gschaerr@schaerr-duncan.com(202) 787-1060other
Glenn E. RoperColoradoAmicusDeputy Solicitor General 1300 Broadway, 10th floor Denver, CO 80203 glenn.roper@coag.gov720-508-6562other
Ilya ShapiroThe Cato InstituteAmicusCato Institute 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC 20001 ishapiro@cato.org(202) 842-0200other
James L. HirsenJustice and Freedom FundAmicus505 S. Villa Real Drive Suite 208 Anaheim Hills, CA 92807 hirsen@earthlink.net(714) 283-8880other
James R. LaytonCarol S. Comer, Director, Missouri Department of Natural ResourcesAmicusSolicitor General Office of the Attorney General P. O. Box 899 Jefferson City, MO 65102 james.layton@ago.mo.gov(573) 751-1800respondent
James R. LaytonCarol S. Comer, Director, Missouri Department of Natural ResourcesCounsel of RecordTueth Keeney Cooper Mohan Jackstadt P.C. 34 N. Meramec Ave., Suite 600 St. Louis, MO 63105 jlayton@tuethkeeney.com(314) 880-3619respondent
Jared O. FreedmanAmerican Civil Liberties Union, et al.AmicusJenner & Block LLP 1099 New York Avenue, NW Suite 900 Washington, DC 20001 jfreedman@jenner.com(202)-639-6000other
Jay Alan SekulowAmerican Center for Law & JusticeAmicusAmerican Center for Law & Justice 201 Maryland Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 sekulow@aclj.org(202) 546-8890other
Jay Alan SekulowThe American Center for Law & JusticeAmicusAmerican Center for Law & Justice 201 Maryland Ave., N.E. Washington, DC 20002 sekulow@aclj.org(202) 546-8890other
John A. EidsmoeFoundation for MoralAmicusFoundation for Moral Law One Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 eidsmoeja@juno.com(334) 262-1245other
John M. WestThe National Education AssociationAmicusBredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C. 805 Fifteenth Street, N.W. Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20005 jwest@bredhoff.com(202) 842-2600other
Joseph J. LoBueBelmont Abbey CollegeAmicusFried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson 801 17th Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 Joseph.LoBlue@friedfrank.com(202)-639-7000other
K. Hollyn HollmanBaptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and General Synod of The United Church of ChristAmicusBaptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty 200 Maryland Ave. NE. Washington, DC 20002(202) 544-4226other
Kimberlee Wood ColbyChristian Legal Society, et al.AmicusChristian Legal Society 8001 Braddock Rd., Suite 302 Springfield, VA 22151 kcolby@clsnet.org(703) 894-1087other
Lawrence VanDykeNevada, et al.AmicusSolicitor General Office of the Attorney General 100 North Carson Street Carson City, NV 89701 LVanDyke@ag.nv.gov(775) 684-1100other
Marc D. SternAmerican Jewish Committee in support of neither partyAmicusAmerican Jewish Committee 165 East 56th Street New York, NY 10022 sternm@ajc.org(212) 891-1480other
Mark F. Hearne II.National Association 0f EvangelicalsAmicusArent Fox LLP 112 S. Hanley Rd., Suite 200 Clayton, MO 63105 thor@arentfox.com(314) 296-4000other
Mathew D. StaverLiberty Counsel, et al.AmicusLiberty Counsel P.O. Box 540774 Orlando, FL 327854 court@lc.org(800) 671-1776other
Matthew T. MartensAmerican Associationof Christian SchoolsAmicusWilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006 matthew.martens@wilmerhale.com(202) 663-6000other
Meriem L. HubbardPacific Legal FoundationAmicusPacific Legal Foundation 930 G Street Sacramento, CA 95814 mlh@pacificlegal.org(916) 419-7111other
Michael E. BindasInstitute for JusticeAmicusInstitute for Justice 10500 N.E. 8th Street Suite 1760 Bellevue, WA 98004 mbindas@ij.org(425) 646-9300other
Michael Lee FranciscoEthics & Religious Liberty CommissionAmicusMRDLaw 3301 West Clyde PLace Denver, CO 80211 michael.francisco@mrd.law(303) 325-7843other
Michael W. McConnellThe Becket Fund for Religious LibertyAmicus559 Nathan Abbott Way Stanford, CA 94305 mcconnell@law.stanford.edu(650) 736-1326other
Nathan J DiamentThe Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of AmericaAmicusUnion of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America 820 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 ouadc@ou.org(202) 513-6484other
Paul D. ClementDouglas County School District, et al.AmicusKirkland & Ellis LLP 655 Fifteenth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20005 paul.clement@kirkland.com(202) 879-5000other
Steven W. FitschenWallBuilders, Inc.AmicusThe National Legal Foundation 2224 Virginia Beach Blvd. Suite 204 Virginia Beach, VA 23454 nlf@nlf.net(757)-463-6133other
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