Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of a Missouri church and Christian school that applied for a public grant program that recycled shredded tires to use as padding on outdoor playgrounds.
The U.S. Supreme Court overruled a decision by the Missouri State Supreme Court that used the Missouri Constitution’s Blaine Amendment to prohibit the school from participating in the program. The high court ruled that the school’s ability to participate in the program was protected by the First Amendment, and that they couldn’t be omitted from the program based on their religion.
Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, agreed with the court.
“When used incorrectly, the Blaine Amendment is a dangerous device that threatens the oldest founding principle of our country – freedom of religion,” Ritze said. “Oklahomans have had a similar experience with the Blaine Amendment when the Oklahoma Supreme Court used its hostile language to rule we could no longer display the Ten Commandments on state property. I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court and implore them to take similar action in our case and reverse this government overreach that threatens our state’s freedom of religion. ”
Ritze represents District 80 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which represents part s of Tulsa and Wagoner Counties. He serves as chair of the House Public Health Committee.