Washington Law Review


This Note examines the Supreme Court opinion, focusing on two statements made by the Court. First, the Court maintained that the purported secular objectives of the Massachusetts statute could be constitutionally achieved by less drastic means. Second, the Court implied that, had the Massachusetts law provided adequate assurance that the veto power delegated to churches would be used in a "religiously neutral way," the statute might have been sustained. This Note maintains that the constitutionality of an outright ban on liquor outlets in the proximity of churches is doubtful because such a statute would be secular in neither purpose nor effect. Further, a delegation of state power to churches under a "religiously neutral" standard, enabling them to veto a liquor license application, would only increase the potential for an unconstitutional entangling relationship between church and state.

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