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August 10, 2023

FFRF Intervenes in Church Grant Lawsuit

Morris county lawsuit victory image

FFRF and New Jersey taxpayer David Steketee filed to intervene in the lawsuit Mendham Methodist Church v. Morris County, NJ on August 10, 2023. The Foundation previously litigated this issue and won in 2018 when the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled in FFRF’s favor that public money could not be used to repair a church. 

At issue again is the funding of churches through Historic Preservation grants. The plaintiffs in this new case argue that previous US Supreme Court decisions invalidated the decision that barred churches from participating in these funding programs and that the state’s Religious Aid Clause violates the U.S. Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause. FFRF's motion to intervene argues that the county is essentially looking for a "do-over" to relitigate claims already rejected by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

FFRF and Steketee are represented by local counsel Paul S. Grosswald and Richard Bolton of Boardman Clark. FFRF Associate Counsel Sam Grover and Senior Policy Counsel Ryan Jayne also represent the intervenors. This case is in the New Jersey District Court with the case number 2:23-cv-02347.