The Supreme Court decided in late April to let stand a California state court decision that exempts religious organizations from local
historic preservation laws. Religious groups can raze and replace
historic buildings based upon a 1994 state law. The California Supreme
Court had determined last year that religious organizations had the
freedom to decide which of their buildings to preserve for posterity.
Historic preservation, housing and economic development groups argued
that the law gave religious groups an advantage over secular ones that
must maintain historic structures.