Establishment Clause In Public Schools

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The first clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is known as the Establishment Clause and reads: According to Thomas Jefferson, its purpose is to erect to promote a disconnect between the institutions of government and religion in American society. In the past half century, the Supreme Court of the United States and lower courts have heard countless cases involving claims that this prohibition imposed on the government has been violated, and many of such cases have involved alleged violations of the clause in the nation's public school systems. Considering that the minds of elementary and secondary students are the Supreme Court has stated that it in those cases involving students in elementary and secondary public schools. The Court has historically provided several legal tests to determine whether or not a particular government action is in violation of the Establishment Clause, and has employed them to address potential violations in public schools. B. Establishment Clause History and Legal Tests 1. Incorporation and the Establishment Clause Test The Bill of Rights, consisting of the first ten Amendments to the United States Constitution, was adopted in 1791. However, in accordance with the…show more content…
Kurtzman, appellants challenged state statutes that provided aid to church-related elementary and secondary schools as a violation of the Establishment Clause. The Court ruled in favor of the appellants, declaring such statutes unconstitutional. In its decision, it described what came to be known as the Lemon Test. Although this test has been subject to criticism, it has often been viewed as the standard of judicial review in Establishment Clause cases, and many courts continue to use it as the primary test in such cases.8 The test puts forth three questions, and a negative answer to any one of them establishes unconstitutionality for violation of the Establishment Clause. The three questions
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