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September 26, 1991

Money to Enhance Catholic Seminary (1991)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation won the first round of its lawsuit to block the state of Wisconsin from granting $100,000 to assist building a center, with no strings attached, at St. Norbert Catholic College, DePere, Wisconsin, in a lawsuit filed in 1989. The funding was part of a budgetary maneuver and no public hearing was ever held. In 1990, the Foundation won at the Dane County circuit court level. Judge Robert Pekowsky ruled that the legislation did not contain necessary safeguards to assure that the taxpayers' compulsory donation would be used only for nonreligious purposes. The articles and bylaws of incorporation for the "Norbertines" provide that it is "to be operated within the context of the teachings and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church." In September 1991, a state appeals court overturned the St. Norbert's Victory, and in 1992, the (Catholic-dominated) Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.