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Church Daycares and Non-Establishment of Religion

Court rules that city's ordinance does not violate the First Amendment.

Key point: A city ordinance may exempt church-operated child care facilities from a requirement that child care facilities obtain a special permit before operating in residential neighborhoods.

• A federal appeals court ruled that a city ordinance that allowed churches to operate child care facilities in residential neighborhoods, but required other facilities to obtain a special use permit to do so, did not violate the first amendment prohibition of the establishment of religion. A woman who was denied a permit to open a secular child care center in a residential neighborhood challenged the constitutionality of the city ordinance that exempted churches from the permit requirement. A district court agreed that the ordinance constituted the establishment of religion in violation of the first amendment, noting that it conferred a benefit upon churches that is unavailable to others ...

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  • March 1, 1994

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