Atheists Lose Lawsuit Over Detroit's Downtown Aid

May 28, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Detroit News

Wire Service: AP

A federal appeals court says Detroit did not violate the Constitution when it partially reimbursed churches for renovations before the Super Bowl and other major sporting events.

After winning a bid to host the 2006 Super Bowl, the city in 2003 created a development program to reimburse up to half the costs of refurbishing downtown buildings and parking lots.

Three churches received 6 percent, or $737,000, of more than $11 million allocated for projects.

The group American Atheists sued, claiming the city could not include religious organizations in the program.