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Supreme Court , including Gorsuch, to hear church-state case

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Cherry blossom trees bloom on the grounds of the U.S. Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ An important case about the separation of church and state comes up in Justice Neil Gorsuch’s first week on the Supreme Court bench.

The outcome could make it easier to use state money to pay for private, religious schooling in many states.

The justices on Wednesday will hear a Missouri church’s challenge to its exclusion from a state program that provides money to use ground-up tires to cushion playgrounds. Missouri is among roughly three dozen states with constitutions that explicitly prohibit using public money to aid a religious institution, an even higher wall separating government and religion than the U.S. Constitution requires.