07-11-07, Cases - Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985)...

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Wallace v. Jaffree , 472 U.S. 38 (1985) Facts : An Alabama law authorized teachers to set aside one minute at the start of each day for a moment of "silent meditation or voluntary prayer". A parent of three students sued the state, claiming that the law violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The plaintiff had complained that the law instituted compulsory prayer and exposed students to religious indoctrination. The District Court allowed the practice, but the Court of Appeals reversed, holding the law unconstitutional. Question : violation of Establishment Clause of First Amendment? Holding : Yes. Rationale : The First Amendment was adopted to curtail Congress' power to interfere with the individual's freedom to believe, to worship, and to express himself in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience. One of the well-established criteria for determining the constitutionality of a statute under the Establishment Clause is that the statute must have a secular legislative purpose. Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 612-613 (1971). The First Amendment requires that a statute must be invalidated if it is entirely motivated by a purpose to advance religion. The record here not only establishes that 16-1-20.1's purpose was to endorse religion, it also reveals that the enactment of the statute was not motivated by any clearly secular purpose. Significance : Lee v. Weisman , 505 U.S. 577 ( 1992 ) Facts : Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Weisman objected to an overtly religious invocation at their daughter Deborah's 1989 graduation from Nathan Bishop Middle School in Providence, Rhode Island. When the principal of Nathan Bishop, Robert E. Lee, invited a Jewish rabbi to deliver a prayer at the 1989 graduation ceremony of Deborah Weisman, her parents requested a temporary restraining order seeking to ban the rabbi from speaking. When the Rhode Island district court denied the Weismans' motion, the family did attend the graduation ceremony, and the rabbi did deliver a benediction. After the graduation,
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2008 for the course POLT 30300 taught by Professor Moon during the Fall '07 term at Ithaca College.

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07-11-07, Cases - Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985)...

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