Mauck & Baker has written an amicus curiae brief in support of Alliance Defending Freedom’s certiorari petition to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Tree of Life Christian Schools in their case against the City of Upper Arlington, Ohio.
This request for review comes after several unfavorable rulings and an eight-year long legal battle after Tree of Life Christian Schools purchased a vacant building that was formerly occupied by AOL/Time-Warner to accommodate their rapidly increasing amount of students. When they applied for a zoning permit to expand their school into the new building they were denied, even though similar nonprofit organizations were allowed without needing prior zoning approval.
Alliance Defending Freedom, who represents the school, cited RLUIPA in their arguments to the City, federal court, and circuit court. RLUIPA was originally passed to protect religious institutions from unequal treatment, particularly regarding zoning codes and land use. However, the “equal terms” provision, a specific solution that was crafted to solve the unfair treatment of religious assemblies, has been either misunderstood or disregarded by some courts.
We are asking the Supreme Court to grant review and then uphold this provision of RLUIPA passed by Congress, correcting the actions of courts that have chosen to stray from the legislation and laws they are tasked with interpreting and applying to the facts of each case.