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Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 29, 2015

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc., Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Sara Parker Pauley, in her official capacity, Defendant - Appellee the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s) American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, et al., Amici on Behalf of Appellee(s)

Submitted January 15, 2015.

Page 780

Appeal from United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri - Jefferson City.

For Trinity Lutheran Church, of Columbia, Inc., Plaintiff - Appellant: Joel Lee Oster, Alliance Defense Fund, Leawood, KS; Erik William Stanley, Senior Counsel, Kevin Theriot, Alliance Defending Freedom, Scottsdale, AZ; Michael Kenneth Whitehead, Whitehead Law Firm, Kansas City, MO.

For Sara Parker Pauley, in her official capacity as Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Management Program, Defendant - Appellee: James Robert Layton, Kristin R. Stokely, Assistant Attorney General, Attorney General's Office, Jefferson City, MO.

For The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s): Eric Baxter, Asma T. Uddin, Diana Verm, Becket Fund For Religious Liberty, Washington, DC.

For American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s): Daniel Mach, Heather L. Weaver, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc., Washington, DC.

For American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s): Anthony E. Rothert, American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation, Saint Louis, MO; Gillian R. Wilcox, Aclu of Missouri Foundation, Kansas City, MO.

For Americans United For Separation of Church and State, Amicus on Behalf of Appellee(s): Ayesha N. Khan, Alex J. Luchenister, Americans United For Separation of Church & State, Washington, DC.

Before LOKEN, MELLOY, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges. GRUENDER, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

OPINION

Page 781

LOKEN, Circuit Judge.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. (" Trinity Church" ), filed this action alleging that Sara Pauley, acting in her official capacity as Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (" DNR" ), violated Trinity Church's rights under the United States and Missouri Constitutions by denying its application for a grant of solid waste management funds to resurface a playground on church property. The district court[1] dismissed the Complaint for failure to state a claim and denied Trinity ...


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