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Case Profile

Docket Number 15-577
Term 2016
Full Name Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Short Name Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Petitioner Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc.
Respondent Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Date Argued (Reargued) April 19, 2017
Date Decided

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

No Date Description
58 2017-03-02 CIRCULATED.
57 2017-03-02 Record received from the U.S.C.A. 8th Circuit (1 box).
56 2017-02-24 Record requested from the U.S.C.A. 8th Circuit.
55 2017-02-17 SET FOR ARGUMENT ON Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
54 2016-08-12 Reply of petitioner Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. filed.
53 2016-07-25 Application (16A78) granted by Justice Alito extending the time to file until August 12, 2016.
52 2016-07-22 Application (16A78) to extend the time to file a reply brief from July 28, 2016 to August 12, 2016, submitted to Justice Alito.
51 2016-07-05 Brief amicus curiae of The National Education Association filed.
50 2016-07-05 Brief amicus curiae of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. filed.
49 2016-07-05 Brief amici curiae of Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and General Synod of The United Church of Christ filed.
48 2016-07-05 Brief amici curiae of Legal and Religious Historians filed.
47 2016-07-05 Brief amici curiae of Religious and Civil Rights Organizations filed.
46 2016-07-05 Brief amici curiae of American Civil Liberties Union, et al. filed.
45 2016-06-28 Brief of respondent Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources filed.
44 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of WallBuilders, Inc. filed.
43 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of Liberty Counsel, et al. filed.
42 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, et al. filed.
41 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of Colorado filed.
40 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of Christian Legal Society, et al. filed.
39 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of The Cato Institute filed.
38 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of Law and Religion Practitioners filed.
37 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of Belmont Abbey College filed.
36 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of The General Council of the Assemblies of God filed.
35 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of Nevada, et al. filed.
34 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of Pacific Legal Foundation filed.
33 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of National Association of Evangelicals filed.
32 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of Douglas County School District, et al. filed.
31 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of Institute for Justice filed.
30 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, et al. filed.
29 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of Members of Congress filed.
28 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of American Association of Christian Schools filed.
27 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance filed.
26 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of The Bronx Household of Faith filed.
25 2016-04-21 Brief amici curiae of Association of Christian Schools International, and Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod filed.
24 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission filed.
23 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed.
22 2016-04-21 Brief amicus curiae of American Jewish Committee in support of neither party filed.
21 2016-04-20 Brief amicus curiae of Justice and Freedom Fund filed.
20 2016-04-20 Brief amicus curiae of The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America filed.
19 2016-04-19 Brief amicus curiae of The American Center for Law & Justice filed.
18 2016-04-18 Brief amicus curiae of World Vision, Inc. filed.
17 2016-04-14 Brief of petitioner Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. filed.
16 2016-04-14 Joint appendix filed.
15 2016-03-17 Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for the petitioner.
14 2016-02-09 The time to file respondent's brief on the merits is extended to and including June 28, 2016.
13 2016-02-09 The time to file the joint appendix and petitioner's brief on the merits is extended to and including April 14, 2016.
12 2016-01-15 Petition GRANTED.
11 2016-01-11 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of January 15, 2016.
10 2015-12-22 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of January 8, 2016.
9 2015-12-18 Reply of petitioner Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. filed.
8 2015-12-07 Brief amicus curiae of Foundation for Moral Law filed. (Distributed)
7 2015-12-07 Brief amicus curiae of Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission filed.
6 2015-12-07 Brief of respondent Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources in opposition filed.
5 2015-12-07 Brief amici curiae of Nevada, et al. filed.
4 2015-12-07 Brief amicus curiae of The American Center for Law & Justice filed.
3 2015-12-07 Brief amici curiae of Association of Christian Schools International, and Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod filed.
2 2015-12-03 Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for petitioner.
1 2015-11-04 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due December 7, 2015)

Case Counsels

Name Party Name Description Address Phone Type
Aaron M. Streett Members of Congress Amicus Baker Botts, L.L.P. 910 Louisiana Street Houston, TX 77002-4995 aaron.streett@bakerbotts.com (713) 229-1855 other
Allison Blair Jones The Bronx Household of Faith Amicus 725 Twelfth Street, NW Washington, DC 20005 ajones@wc.com (202) 434-5000 other
Andrew J. Pincus Religious and Civil Rights Organizations Amicus Mayer Brown LLP 1999 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 apincus@mayerbrown.com (202) 263-3000 other
Camilla B. Taylor Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. Amicus Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. 105 W. Adams Street Suite 2600 Chicago, IL 60603 ctaylor@lambdalegal.org (312) 663-4413 other
C. Kevin Marshall Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance Amicus Jones Day 51 Louisiana Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 ckmarshall@jonesday.com (202) 879-3939 other
Darryl P. Rains The General Council of the Assemblies of God Amicus 755 Page Mill Road Palo Alto, CA 94304 DRains@mofo.com (650) 813-5600 other
David A. Cortman Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. Counsel of Record Alliance Defending Freedom 440 1st Street N.W. Suite 600 Washington, DC 20001 dcortman@adflegal.org (202) 393-8690 petitioner
David I. Schoen Law and Religion Practitioners Amicus 2800 Zelda Road Suite 100-6 Montgomery, AL 36106 dschoen593@aol.com (334) 395-6611 other
Douglas B. Mishkin Legal and Religious Historians Amicus Venable LLP 575 7th Street, NW Washington, DC 20004 dbmishkin@venable.com (202) 344-4000 other
Douglas R. Cox Association of Christian Schools International, et al. Amicus Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP 1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036-5306 dcox@gibsondunn.com (202) 530-9539 other
Eric D. McArthur United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, et al. Amicus Sidley Austin LLP 1501 K Street NW Washington, DC 20005 emcarthur@sidley.com (202) 736-8000 other
Eugene Volokh World Vision, Inc. Amicus Scott & Cyan Banister First Amendment Clinic UCLA School of Law 405 Hilgard Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90095 volokh@law.ucla.edu (310) 206-3926 other
Gene C. Schaerr Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, et al. Amicus Schaerr l Duncan, LLP 1717 K Street, NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20006 gschaerr@schaerr-duncan.com (202) 787-1060 other
Glenn E. Roper Colorado Amicus Deputy Solicitor General 1300 Broadway, 10th floor Denver, CO 80203 glenn.roper@coag.gov 720-508-6562 other
Ilya Shapiro The Cato Institute Amicus Cato Institute 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC 20001 ishapiro@cato.org (202) 842-0200 other
James L. Hirsen Justice and Freedom Fund Amicus 505 S. Villa Real Drive Suite 208 Anaheim Hills, CA 92807 hirsen@earthlink.net (714) 283-8880 other
James R. Layton Carol S. Comer, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources Amicus Solicitor General Office of the Attorney General P. O. Box 899 Jefferson City, MO 65102 james.layton@ago.mo.gov (573) 751-1800 respondent
James R. Layton Carol S. Comer, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources Counsel of Record Tueth Keeney Cooper Mohan Jackstadt P.C. 34 N. Meramec Ave., Suite 600 St. Louis, MO 63105 jlayton@tuethkeeney.com (314) 880-3619 respondent
Jared O. Freedman American Civil Liberties Union, et al. Amicus Jenner & Block LLP 1099 New York Avenue, NW Suite 900 Washington, DC 20001 jfreedman@jenner.com (202)-639-6000 other
Jay Alan Sekulow American Center for Law & Justice Amicus American Center for Law & Justice 201 Maryland Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 sekulow@aclj.org (202) 546-8890 other
Jay Alan Sekulow The American Center for Law & Justice Amicus American Center for Law & Justice 201 Maryland Ave., N.E. Washington, DC 20002 sekulow@aclj.org (202) 546-8890 other
John A. Eidsmoe Foundation for Moral Amicus Foundation for Moral Law One Dexter Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 eidsmoeja@juno.com (334) 262-1245 other
John M. West The National Education Association Amicus Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C. 805 Fifteenth Street, N.W. Suite 1000 Washington, DC 20005 jwest@bredhoff.com (202) 842-2600 other
Joseph J. LoBue Belmont Abbey College Amicus Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson 801 17th Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 Joseph.LoBlue@friedfrank.com (202)-639-7000 other
K. Hollyn Hollman Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and General Synod of The United Church of Christ Amicus Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty 200 Maryland Ave. NE. Washington, DC 20002 (202) 544-4226 other
Kimberlee Wood Colby Christian Legal Society, et al. Amicus Christian Legal Society 8001 Braddock Rd., Suite 302 Springfield, VA 22151 kcolby@clsnet.org (703) 894-1087 other
Lawrence VanDyke Nevada, et al. Amicus Solicitor General Office of the Attorney General 100 North Carson Street Carson City, NV 89701 LVanDyke@ag.nv.gov (775) 684-1100 other
Marc D. Stern American Jewish Committee in support of neither party Amicus American Jewish Committee 165 East 56th Street New York, NY 10022 sternm@ajc.org (212) 891-1480 other
Mark F. Hearne II. National Association 0f Evangelicals Amicus Arent Fox LLP 112 S. Hanley Rd., Suite 200 Clayton, MO 63105 thor@arentfox.com (314) 296-4000 other
Mathew D. Staver Liberty Counsel, et al. Amicus Liberty Counsel P.O. Box 540774 Orlando, FL 327854 court@lc.org (800) 671-1776 other
Matthew T. Martens American Associationof Christian Schools Amicus Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006 matthew.martens@wilmerhale.com (202) 663-6000 other
Meriem L. Hubbard Pacific Legal Foundation Amicus Pacific Legal Foundation 930 G Street Sacramento, CA 95814 mlh@pacificlegal.org (916) 419-7111 other
Michael E. Bindas Institute for Justice Amicus Institute for Justice 10500 N.E. 8th Street Suite 1760 Bellevue, WA 98004 mbindas@ij.org (425) 646-9300 other
Michael Lee Francisco Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Amicus MRDLaw 3301 West Clyde PLace Denver, CO 80211 michael.francisco@mrd.law (303) 325-7843 other
Michael W. McConnell The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Amicus 559 Nathan Abbott Way Stanford, CA 94305 mcconnell@law.stanford.edu (650) 736-1326 other
Nathan J Diament The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Amicus Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America 820 First Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 ouadc@ou.org (202) 513-6484 other
Paul D. Clement Douglas County School District, et al. Amicus Kirkland & Ellis LLP 655 Fifteenth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20005 paul.clement@kirkland.com (202) 879-5000 other
Steven W. Fitschen WallBuilders, Inc. Amicus The National Legal Foundation 2224 Virginia Beach Blvd. Suite 204 Virginia Beach, VA 23454 nlf@nlf.net (757)-463-6133 other
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