07-11-05, Cases - Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1...

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Everson v. Board of Education , 330 U.S. 1 (1947) Facts : A New Jersey law authorized payment by local school boards of the costs of transportation to and from private schools. As some of these schools were parochial Catholic institutions, Arch R. Everson, a taxpayer in Ewing Township, filed a lawsuit alleging that this indirect aid to religion through the mechanism of reimbursing parents and students for costs incurred as a result of attending religious schools violated both the New Jersey State Constitution and the First Amendment. After a loss in the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, Everson appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on purely federal constitutional grounds. Question : violation of establishment clause? Holding : No. Rationale : "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State.'" Significance : Reflected a broad interpretation of the Clause that was to guide the Court's decisions for decades to come. Engel v. Vitale , 370 U.S. 421 ( 1962 ) Facts : In the 1950s, the New York Board of Regents authorized local school districts to require children to say a short prayer it had composed. No school district had to mandate the prayer, but no other prayer was permissible. The parents of ten students, some Jewish, some Unitarian, and
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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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07-11-05, Cases - Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1...

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