of Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation
was featured on the cover of this past Sunday's Wisconsin State Journal. It was nice to see godless heathens like me get some decent press. It notes that oral arguments in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation start today but it doesn't really give much of an understanding about the case itself. Check out this page
for more. The key issue:The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was set up in 2001 to help religious groups compete with secular organizations for federal grants to provide social services.
The case before the justices focuses on regional conferences that promoted the initiative. The Freedom From Religion Foundation likened the conferences to "revival meetings" and said they boosted the grant prospects for religious groups "without similar advocacy for secular community-based organizations."
The legal question is not whether those conferences violated the constitutional separation of church and state, but more fundamentally when a taxpayer may even get into court to challenge such mingling of government and religion.
As with everything the Bush administration does, it says that executive branch decisions in this area are immune from taxpayer litigation.
Presumably arguments are going on right now.
EDIT: A rather more in-depth look at the case can be found here