The Supreme Court vs Kids



By Richard A. Nixon

Recently the U.S.Supreme Court handed down a decision entitled, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer. In this case, the State of Missouri conducted a program as part of an effort to enhance playground safety in Missouri. Trinity applied for funds to change its playground surface from gravel to tire-rubber  Trinity was denied based upon the Missouri Constitution.

The Missouri Constitution states, in pertinent part, ” no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church.” That should have been the end of the matter. However,Trinity filed suit and cited the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Both the district court and the 8th U.S.Circuit Court ruled in favor of Missouri. OK, this should have been the end of the case…

But, no, Trinity persisted and finally prevailed before the U.S. Supreme Court. Although I personally agree with the result of the case, I resent the Supreme Court’s interference with the people of Missouri and their choice regarding this issue as expressed very clearly in the Missouri Constitution. The Supreme Court uprooted and rewrote the Missouri Constitution to suit the current Court’s agenda. In effect, the Supreme Court amended the Missouri Constitution by means unauthorized by the Missouri Constitution.

The Supreme Court cites the free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as their authority to trample the state constitutional rights of the citizens of Missouri. Said clause states, “…Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” Hence, this clause prohibits Congress, not the states, from its terms. Hence, how is it that the State of Missouri is prohibited as well? Was the 1st Amendment itself amended? This is clearly not the case.

The Supreme Court, by ignoring the intent of the Founding Fathers, the history and the text of said amendment, simply willed it so by declaring that the 1st Amendment applied to the states via the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause enacted in 1868 !! 

As a result, the Supreme Court struggles with its reasoning as to why the state of Missouri cannot deny these children. Of course the reason for the struggle is that the 1st Amendment was never intended to apply to the states. The Founding Fathers intended the states to be free to deal with these and most other issues as the citizens of each state so decided.

The Supreme Court improperly amended the Missouri Constitution. The proper method is for the people of Missouri, should they choose to do so, to amend their own constitution by means permitted by their own constitution.

Richard A. Nixon, Esq. and Author of America-An Illusion of Freedom (  Find Mr. Nixon on Facebook

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