WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court is set to rule on Monday in a closely watched religious rights case involving limits on public funding for churches and other religious entities as the justices issue the final rulings of their current term.
The nine justices are due to rule in six cases, not including their decision expected in the coming days on whether to take up President Donald Trump's bid to revive his ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries in which an emergency appeal is pending.
Of the remaining cases argued during the court's current term, which began in October, the most eagerly awaited one concerns a Missouri church backed by a conservative Christian legal group. The ruling potentially could narrow the separation of church and state.
A decision in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church, located in Columbia, Missouri, set the stage for more public money to go to religious entities. The church sued after being denied state taxpayer funds for a playground improvement project because of a Missouri constitutional provision barring state funding for religious entities.
Trinity Lutheran could be headed for a lopsided win, with two liberal justices joining their conservative colleagues in signaling support during the April oral argument. It was one of the first in which Trump's conservative appointee to the court, Neil Gorsuch, participated.