The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case regarding a Bronx church holding worship in a New York City public school.
The decision ended a 16-year fight over the rights of churches in city schools. For years, nearly 160 area congregations have held services in schools. Now, they have only about two months to find new places of worship, reported the Wall Street Journal.
We view this as a victory for the city's schoolchildren and their families, Jane Gordon, the senior counsel of the New York City Law Department, said in a statement, according to the New York Times.
Under the current arraignment, churches pay small fees to hold prayer and worship services in the schools. This deal had helped new church congregations on the rise from paying high price rents for meeting spacing in hotels or community centers.
The Alliance Defense Fund, which represented the Bronx Household of Faith in its legal fight with New York's Department of education, argued the city was unfairly attacking churches for exclusion in the public schools. Robert G. Hall, the co-pastor of the Bronx congregation, had applied to use a public school as a place of worship. When they were denied, they brought the trial to court. They argued this was a violation of their constitutional rights. However, they lost the trial and their appeals cases.
This is a very dangerous precedent, Mr. Hall said in an e-mail to the New York Times. He added that he was very disappointed with the court's decision to not take the case.