Evenhanded urban beautification/refurbishment program and churches
VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu
Thu May 28 10:46:44 PDT 2009
Oh, by the way, the opinion is at http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/09a0188p-06.pdf
From: religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu [mailto:religionlaw-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Volokh, Eugene
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:45 AM
To: 'Law & Religion issues for Law Academics'
Subject: Evenhanded urban beautification/refurbishment program and churches
American Atheists v. City of Detroit (6th Cir. May 28), upholds the inclusion of churches in an evenhanded program which covered "reimburse[d] up to 50% of the costs of refurbishing the exteriors of downtown buildings and parking lots" "in a discrete section of downtown Detroit," and "covered all property in that area, including property owned by religious organizations." "Of the $11.5 million allocated for completed and authorized projects, 6.4% ... went to [three] churches" in the area. The program was apparently prompted by the city's desire to put on a good face for the then-upcoming 2006 Super Bowl, which was to be held in a city-built stadium.
Any thoughts on whether the decision is sound? In my view, it pretty clearly should be, but is it consistent with Mitchell v. Helms? And if it sound, what does it say about the right result in Mitchell-like cases?
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