There is some strong religious freedom language in the majority opinion. From The Washington Post: <<Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who authored the opinion, wrote, “The exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution … and cannot stand.”>>
The vote was 7-2 with Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor in dissent.
The majority found the case rather easy, because Trinity Lutheran was excluded from a public program only because of its status as a church. A discrimination on that basis alone can be supported only under the most exacting scrutiny, which Missouri could manage. The Court left open the possibility that government discrimination against a church might be permissible, upon a much lesser burden, if a public benefit were to be converted to a religious use.
[T]he Court leaves open the possibility a useful distinction might be drawn between laws that discriminate on the basis of religious status and religious use. Respectfully, I harbor doubts about the stability of such a line. Does a religious man say grace before dinner? Or does a man begin his meal in a religious manner? Is it a religious group that built the playground? Or did a group build the playground so it might be used to advance a religious mission? The distinction blurs in much the same way the line between acts and omissions can blur when stared at too long, leaving us to ask (for example) whether the man who drowns by awaiting the incoming tide does so by act (coming upon the sea) or omission (allowing the sea to come upon him)....
I don’t see why it should matter whether we describe that benefit, say, as closed to Lutherans (status) or closed to people who do Lutheran things (use). It is free exercise either way.
In contrast, in another concurring opinion, Justice Breyer would have sharply limited the case to its facts.
The full decision and opinions in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc., v. Comer (no, not Comey, but a Missouri official, Comer) are available online.