Alliance Defending Freedom filed its opening brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday in a case that addresses the question of whether states can exhibit hostility to religion by prohibiting churches and church-run organizations from participating in state programs solely because the groups are religious.

ADF attorneys represent a church that operates a pre-school and daycare center. The state of Missouri excluded it from a program that provides recycled tire products to surface children’s playgrounds. In January, the high court agreed to take up the case.

“Religious neutrality doesn’t mean treating religious organizations worse than everyone else,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The state’s categorical exclusion of religious daycare centers and preschools from the Scrap Tire Grant Program is discrimination based on religious status, and that violates the First Amendment. It isn’t neutral for the state to impose special burdens on nonprofit organizations with a religious identity.” FULL REPORT