MORRISTOWN, NJ - An appeal has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Morris County Board of Freeholders, announced the Morris County Freeholders.  Last months ruling banned the freeholders from issuing historic preservation trust fund grants to religious institutions.

The freeholders, in a unanimous vote at their meeting on Monday evening, approved a resolution that calls for Washington D.C. based Beckett to appeal the ruling.

"The Freeholders are engaging Beckett to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding last month’s N.J. Supreme Court ruling that banned the county from issuing historic preservation trust fund grants to religious institutions", said Morris County Freeholder Doug Cabana in a statement.

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"Beckett is a non-profit, public-interest legal and educational institute with a stated mission to protect the free expression of all faiths will pick up all costs associated with the case' said Cabana. "The firm has extensive experience in matters regarding religious freedom".

In a case entitled, Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the State Supreme Court ruled against the county, announced the freeholders. The county’s historic preservation trust fund program had allowed churches or religious institutions to seek grants for historic projects for buildings eligible for or listed on the State and/or National Registers of Historic Places, with specific historic criteria in place for all applicants. The county’s preservation program was created for a secular purpose: to preserve historic landmarks.

"The Board of Freeholders believes the State Supreme Court made the wrong decision in ending that funding eligibility", said Cabana in a statement. "Board members believe the historic religious structures in Morris County are critical to the county community, the county’s economy, and to the county’s history".

"Since the case is in litigation, the Freeholder Board will not have further comment about the matter", concluded Cabana.


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