Skip to comments.In ruling, Supreme Court says religion deserves greater protection (Texas)
Posted on 06/20/2009 11:11:09 AM PDT by Hawk720
Continuing to show deference to religious practice in Texas, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday that a town near Corpus Christi violated state law when it zoned two Christian halfway houses out of existence.
In a 9-0 ruling, the court said the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act entitles faith-based operations to greater legal protection than similar secular operations.
The ruling the court's first look at the 1999 religious freedom act means cities will have to prove that zoning laws affecting religious activities are the least restrictive way to further a "compelling" government function, such as providing for public safety. That test, developed under First Amendment case law, is intended to be difficult to meet.
"This means that in zoning cases, you have to give churches special treatment," said Hiram Sasser, litigation director for Liberty Legal Institute, a conservative nonprofit group that advocates for religious rights and that appealed the case.
"You have to have very special reasons for telling a church you can't locate here and locate there. That's going to be a tough burden for cities," Sasser said. "This is going to be an important tool for churches, synagogues, mosques and all types of religious institutions."
(Excerpt) Read more at statesman.com ...
Battle won but the war is ongoing.
Another case where IMO people are not thinking things through, the problem with special rights for religious institutions is that constitutionally you can't discriminate between religions - a lot of the people who think this is a wonderful decision by the court may feel a bit differently when they find they can't block the establishment of a mosque and madrasah down the street from their houses.
I won't comment since you've said it so eloquently.
Watch for the Moose Limbs to jump in and comadseer this one - they use our own laws (and airplanes) against us.
In this case, the ministry that was wanting to move in was two halfway houses. I can understand why people were concerned about them moving into their neighborhoods. But this ministry will have to be allowed in now.
The many headed serpent of Islam will take this sensible ruling to nonsensical extremes in short order.
I don’t necesarily think that religious things should have special treatment but property rights should not be violated. I don’t think any area should be rezoned unless 100% of the owners agree. I hate when they change the rules in the middle of the game