Potential SCOTUS Justice nominee has Missouri ties

8 months 3 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, June 28 2018 Jun 28, 2018 Thursday, June 28, 2018 7:17:00 AM CDT June 28, 2018 in News
By: Monica Madden, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - There's a connection between St. Louis, Columbia and President Trump's short-list of potential replacements for Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement Wednesday.

A U.S. Circuit Judge from St. Louis, Raymond Gruender, is on Trump's radar for a Justice nominee, largely because of his dissenting opinion in a major case involving a Columbia church.

On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church in a lawsuit related to state funding for religious organizations. The Washington Post reported experts said the case would likely be referenced in the future regarding future church-state battles. 

Originally, the church applied for a Missouri Department of Natural Resources grant to resurface its Learning Center's playground with recycled tire materials. The church's application ranked high for the DNR's qualifications, but ultimately the state rejected the application because it is a religious organization.

Before the case came to the Supreme Court, it was in the hands of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th District, where Gruender wrote a dissenting opinion on the decision. 

In his opinion, Gruender said:

"Schoolchildren playing on a safer rubber surface made from environmentally-friendly recycled tires has nothing to do with religion. If giving the Learning Center a playground-surfacing grant raises a substantial antiestablishment concern, the same could be said for virtually all government aid to the Learning Center, no matter how far removed from religion that aid may be." 

It was this opinion that caught Trump's eye. The president listed 25 potential nominees to replace Kennedy in a press release from the White House. He is using the same list from last year when he replaced the late Justice Antonin Scalia. 

Whomever Trump nominates as Justice will likely have heavy influence in important court decisions to come. 

"Some people think that, outside of obviously war and peace, it's the most important thing that you could have," Trump said at a press conference in the Oval Office Wednesday. 

It's uncertain whether or not Trump will select Gruender, but if so, it's likely he could have influence on more religious liberty cases in the future. 

KOMU 8 News reached out to Trinity Lutheran Church about the status of the playground. DNR invited the church to reapply for the grant, and it is waiting to hear back on whether or not it will receive the funding. 

More News

Grid
List
IOWA CITY - In the Regional Finals of the Women's NCAA Tournament, the Mizzou Tigers lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 12:22:10 AM CDT March 25, 2019 in Sports
MOBERLY - A woman was arrested in Moberly Saturday evening for driving while intoxicated with two children in the car,... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 12:02:00 AM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri forward Jontay Porter re-tore his ACL Saturday while rehabbing in Colorado, Mizzou Athletics confirmed to KOMU. ... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 10:21:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in Sports
(CNN) -- A triumphant President Donald Trump emerged Sunday to claim "complete and total exoneration" after special counsel... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 9:02:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Law enforcement agencies are turning to social media to connect with the people they serve. Police departments, sheriff's... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 6:43:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY - A body was recovered from the Missouri River Sunday afternoon. The Saline County Sheriff's Office said... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 4:50:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, here's how to get help : In the... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 3:35:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
(CNN) - The special counsel did not find Trump campaign or associates conspired with Russia. "The special counsel's investigation... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 1:05:00 PM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A locally-owned beer shop will close its doors for good on Wednesday. Craft Beer Cellar announced its... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 11:08:00 AM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- The evacuation of passengers from a cruise ship off the western coast of Norway has come to an... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, March 24 2019 Mar 24, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 10:14:41 AM CDT March 24, 2019 in News
(CNN) — Rescuers are scrambling to rescue about 1,300 passengers and crew from a cruise ship off Norway... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 11:09:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
MOBERLY — Moberly Police said they have arrested a man who tried to escape from them. According to Moberly... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 8:05:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Arkansas-based Tyson Foods is recalling more than 69,000 pounds (31,297 kilograms) of frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strips because... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 6:32:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, here's how to get help : In the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 4:45:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County officials have found an elderly man who went missing in Columbia, Saturday. Officials said they ended... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:56:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
SUNRISE BEACH - The smell of fresh barbecue filled the air at the Bear Bottom Resort this afternoon. The community... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:20:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A fire broke out at the intersection of Broadway and Old Highway 63 South. The fire was... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:00:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
BOWLING GREEN — A student at Bowling Green High School died Friday after a car crash according to the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 23 2019 Mar 23, 2019 Saturday, March 23, 2019 2:55:00 PM CDT March 23, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
10am 41°
11am 41°
12pm 43°
1pm 44°