During his first week on the Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch will deal with an important case about the separation of church and state that has its roots on a Midwestern church playground. On Wednesday, the justices will hear a Missouri church’s challenge to its exclusion from a state program that provides money to use ground-up tires to cushion playgrounds. Missouri is among roughly three dozen states with constitutions that explicitly prohibit using public money to aid a religious institution, a more severe boundary than the U.S. Constitution draws. Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Mo., says its exclusion is discrimination that violates its religious freedom under the U.S. Constitution.
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