Law on damage to church property survives establishment clause challenge

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In People v. Chambliss2012 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2653 (IL App., Nov. 1, 2012), an Illinois appellate court upheld against an Establishment Clause challenge an Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/21-1(d)(1)(C)) that makes damage to property of a place of worship, a school or agricultural equipment or property a greater offense than damage to other property. The court held that the legislature had a secular purpose in focusing on property in need of enhanced protection.