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Supreme Court Rulings Address Eminent Domain, Ten Commandments

Article Summary. In its most recent term the United States Supreme Court issued four rulings that will be of interest to church leaders. In one case the Court ruled that a city has the power to seize private property using the power of eminent domain in furtherance of an "economic development" plan. In the second case, the Court affirmed the constitutionality of portions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). This ruling will provide churches with significant protection in the event that a city attempts to seize their property to expand the tax base or further an economic development plan. The third and fourth cases address the constitutionality of posting the Ten Commandments on public property. In one case, the Court ruled that posting the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky courtroom violated the first amendment's "nonestablishment of religion" clause, while ...

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  • November 1, 2005

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