Potential SCOTUS Justice nominee has Missouri ties

1 year 4 months 3 weeks 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
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia man pleaded guilty Thursday to setting a fire at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia... More >>
9 minutes ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:02:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The first annual Dementia Caregiver Retreat is helping the loved ones of dementia patients prepare for the... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 3:24:00 AM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A scooter rental pilot program in Columbia is soon to expire. Now, the scooter company is seeking a... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:34:00 AM CST November 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle Wednesday night, according to MU Police spokeswoman Sara Diedrich. It... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:53:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
FULTON - The only hospital in Callaway County could be in its final days of serving the community. Fulton Medical... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 9:19:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport is one step closer to getting a new terminal. The city Airport Advisory Board... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:51:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - In its first season of competition, the University of Missouri Esports team were crowned champions after winning the... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 6:08:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A fire broke out Wednesday afternoon at the Missouri State Penitentiary. According to fire personnel, the... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 5:37:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is moving forward with the creation of a new solar field after the city... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 4:14:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia Police source confirmed officers were following up on leads Wednesday in Cooper County in relation to... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - After testimony and a three hour jury deliberation this afternoon, Matthew McMillan has been found guilty of murder... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 2:41:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
FULTON - The Fulton Police Department and Callaway County Sheriff’s Office assisted the M.U.S.T.A.N.G drug task force with a narcotics... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 2:18:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - 6,157 out of 6,987 sexual assault kits went untested in Missouri, the state's SAFE Kit initiative revealed Wednesday.... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 1:02:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
OSAGE COUNTY - A man on the run since Friday in Maries County was captured Wednesday morning in Osage County.... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 12:51:00 PM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia woman accused of hitting and killing a man on Grindstone Parkway faces a new charge. ... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 11:41:00 AM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Flyers, newsletters, offprints and postcards sent by law professors and law schools may soon be a thing of... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 10:59:00 AM CST November 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA -- The Missouri Job Center will host a job fair on Wednesday at the Daniel Boone Regional Library. ... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 20 2019 Nov 20, 2019 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 3:45:00 AM CST November 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Crews are investigating a fire that started in the front room of a house Tuesday evening. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 9:37:00 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
12pm 55°
1pm 55°
2pm 55°
3pm 54°