LEAGUE JOINS AMICUS BRIEF IN JOHNSON CASE
Catalyst January/February Issue 2000
On January 12, the Center for Law and Religious Freedom filed an amicus brief which the Catholic League joined as a co-amicus in Johnson v. Economic Development Corporation of the County of Oakland; it is being appealed to the sixth circuit. The district court rejected the constitutional challenge to the municipal issuance of tax-exempt bonds to pay for improvements at a Catholic school. The league is seeking to have the lower court’s ruling affirmed on behalf of the defendant.
The brief agrees with the district court’s ruling that the law under which the bonds were issued does not violate the establishment clause because it has a secular purpose, does not advance or inhibit religion and does not give rise to excessive entanglement between church and state. Thus, to deny aid to a school because it is religious would be intentional discrimination which is contrary to the First Amendment.