actually at risk.- NAACP fought for civil rights, initially by challenging segregation laws in court.-ACLU, in contrast, focused its attention on cases involving civil liberties, such as freedom of speech.-“warrants making any exception to the sweeping command, ‘Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.'” Holmes's dissent would later influence the Court to take a more protective stance on free speech.●Incorporation: Applying the Bill of Rights to the States-incorporation:the process by which the Supreme Court applies the Bill of Rights to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment-In a groundbreaking decision handed down in 1925, the Court reversed its previous position and said that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment did extend the First Amendment to the states.-The Gitlowcase focused on freedom of speech. Subsequent cases have extended other rights protected in the Bill of Rights to the states.●The Role of the Supreme Court Today-The role of the Supreme Court is not to retry the original case, but rather to review the legal decisions made by the lower courts-When the Supreme Court finds that a lower court's decision is unconstitutional, it may decide to reverse the decision. Often, however, it returns the case to a lower appeals court.-When the Supreme Court makes a decision on an issue, that decision becomes a precedent, or example, for all courts to follow in similar cases in the future.5.3 Your First Amendment Right-Many people regard the First Amendment as the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights.-These rights are critical to life in a democratic society●Freedom of Religion: The Establishment Clause-secular:not religious or spiritual in nature-The Establishment Clause guarantees the separation of church and state.-religious references do exist in government.- Even with the growth of public education, prayers and Bible readings continued in many schools. In general, the courts considered such influences acceptable.
-In 1962, in the landmark case of Engel v. Vitale, the Court changed course-Since the Engelcase, the wall between religious teaching and public education has grown more solid.-In 1971, the Supreme Court decided in Lemon v. Kurtzmanthat the practice of using public funds to support private religious schools was unconstitutional.●Freedom of Religion: The Free Exercise Clause-The Free Exercise Clause establishes that all people are free to follow the religious practices of their choice. They are also free to follow no religion. If a person's religious faith conflicts with the law of the land, however, the law must prevail. -In deciding against Reynolds, the Court drew a distinction between religious beliefs and religious practices.