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Pennsylvania court bars eminent domain taking for religious school

[JURIST] A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Monday that the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority [official website] violated the constitutional separation of church and state when it seized a woman's home to help Hope Partnership for Education [education website], a religious group, build a private school. In a 4-3 decision [PDF text], judges of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ruled that the seizure of the property through the use of eminent domain [JURIST news archive] was an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause [backgrounder] due to entanglement between church and state. In a 2005 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in Kelo v. New London [opinion text; JURIST report] that eminent domain could be used to seize homes for private redevelopment projects. AP has more.

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