Even some of the court’s liberal justices expressed concern that the state had drawn too hard of a line in saying the fact that a day-care and preschool site is controlled by a church, Trinity Lutheran in Columbia, is reason enough to bar it from the program.
“You’re depriving one set of actors from being able to compete in the same way everybody else can compete, because of their religious identification,” Justice Elena Kagan told a lawyer for the state. In such a case, she said, the state’s interests “have to rise to an extremely high level.”