Supreme Court Denies Religious Building Preservation Funds Case

March 4, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court let a ruling stand Monday from the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that said Morris County, N.J., may not give taxpayer funds to help preserve religious buildings, such as synagogues, temples, churches and mosques.

The county has a program for giving preservation funds for all local buildings. But New Jersey law, as recently interpreted by the state Supreme Court, prohibits counties from awarding grants to preserve religious buildings.

Those representing the religious institutions argued the state Supreme Court ruling amounted to unconstitutional discrimination against religion. But the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear this particular case, though indicated it should take this kind of case and the facts seemed murky in this one.

Conservative justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito dissented.

NOTE: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote two of the three opinions released Monday, one of which was argued when she was off the bench recovering from lung cancer surgery.

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