AAA  Jun. 26, 2017 10:33 AM ET
Supreme Court rules for Missouri church in playground case
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Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo, Monday, June 26, 2017. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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(AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other non-religious needs.

The justices on Monday ruled 7-2 in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri. The church sought a grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground, but was denied any money even though its application was ranked fifth out of 44 submissions.

Chief Justice John Roberts said for the court that it "is odious to our Constitution" to exclude the church from the grant program. Roberts said that's true even though the consequences are only "a few extra scraped knees."

Associated Press
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