Federal Court Revisits Important Texas Case

May 21, 2002

Source: The Houston Chronicle

On May 21, 2002 The Houston Chronicle reported that "a case involving a group of Brenham [TX] churches preaching that welfare recipients need a relationship with Jesus to prepare for work is heading back to court... The 5th U.S. Court of Appeals has sent the case back to federal district court to determine whether $ 8,000 awarded to the Jobs Partnership of Washington County must be repaid to taxpayers... At issue is whether the charitable choice program violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of separation of church and state... 'I don't think there is any doubt that what went on was wrong, that they were using tax money to subsidize proselytizing,' said Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, which brought the suit with the American Jewish Congress... Civil rights advocates say the case... could be critical as the Bush administration pushes an expansion of faith-based solutions to social ills."