Justice Neil Gorsuch’s installation on the Supreme Court will likely have a dispositive effect on several high-profile cases, which could set a rightward tack for a bench that has listed to the left over the past year.
In his first weeks on the tribunal, Gorsuch and his new colleagues will review a landmark establishment clause controversy and decide whether to hear cases implicating the rights of gun-owners and religious objectors.
The justices will hear arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer April 19. The case asks to the Court to decide whether churches and faith-based organizations may be excluded from neutral, secular aid programs administered by state governments. The controversy arose after the state of Missouri denied a Lutheran church a grant to finance the purchase of rubber surfacing material for a playground operated by the congregation’s daycare.
Though the state provides funding for such projects at secular institutions, it denied Trinity Lutheran a grant because it is a religious entity.