David Barton’s Original Intent: The Courts, The Constitution, and Religion, breaks down the significance of how religion was intended in the First Amendment and its effect on the phrase, “Separation of Church and State.” Barton well illustrates how the founding fathers incorporated the position of religion into the First Amendment. Barton explains how the House Judiciary Committee believes, “The founders did respect other religions; however, they neither promoted pluralism nor intended that the First Amendment do so” (175). They continue to discuss how the founding fathers were all Christians and they expect it to remain that way in the lives of the citizens. In Barton’s views of the First Amendment, he believes it has changed dramastically
In the case of Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, several students in January of 1990 sued the school board alleging that Westside's refusal to allow the students to start a Christian club violated the Equal Access Act. Some students wanted to form this club and be given the same privileges and meeting terms as other after-school schools in this district. The administration initially denied the request, and the school board upheld the administration's decision. The Court of Appeals found in favor of the students in June of 1990.
A student at Westside High School requested to form a Christian Club that would meet after school. The club would be granted the same privileges as the other student groups at the school, but they did not have a faculty sponsor. Her request was denied by the principal stating that the club would violate the Establishment Clause and the School Board policy requiring a faculty member to sponsor the club. Mergens took her concerns to the School Board. The School Board upheld the principal’s decision. Mergens filed a lawsuit against the Board of Education of Westside Community Schools, for denying the request for a Christian
Decision: In 1985, the principal and superintendent of Westside High School (a secondary school in Omaha, Nebraska) cited the Establishment Clause as a reason for denying the request of Bridget Mergens to form a Christian club that would have the same privileges and meet on the same terms and conditions as other Westside student groups, except that it would have no faculty sponsor. Ms. Mergens took the case to court, and won at first. She lost on appeal at the 8th Circuit Court, and then later won in a 8-1 decision from the Supreme Court
Procedural History: The plaintiffs (Doe), which where twos families that followed the Mormon and Catholic religions both made up of current and former students and their parents, filed a law suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas citing the defendants (Santa Fe School District) were in violation of their First Amendment as it pertains to the Establishment
S. Court granted review of the case. Milford Central School’s arguments are that Good News Club is in violation of the Establishment Clause because the organizations purpose is religion and the students, especially the elementary students, would not be able to distinguish the religion instruction from the school instruction. In addition, the school has a “limited public forum” and cannot accept every application or open its doors every time an organization wants it to ("Find Law", 2015). The school related their argument to previous cases, such as, Engel v. Vitale Lee v. Weisman Sante Fe (school prayer), Peck v. Upsher County Board (no bibles in elementary schools), and Widmar v. Vincent (younger students are impressionable). Good News Club’s argument is that the school allows non-related organizations to “use the facilities based on expressive activities.” The club has a neutral viewpoint and is specific on the subject matter of promoting moral values. The club does not violate the Establishment Clause because they are neutral, viewpoint is private and not a reflection of the school, and the club is not endorsed by the school. Additionally, the club is promoting the community to put themselves above others and that is discriminated against its religious speech. The previous cases that the club uses to support their argument are Lambs Chapel v. Moriches School District (religious viewpoint but not religious purpose), Rosenberger b. Rector and
I concur the first amendment protects students right to express themselves in various distinctive school environment such as during discussions, and interaction with their peers. Moreover, public schools cannot prevent student’s ability to pray and learned about diverse religion in the curriculum.
The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The Supreme Court has been inconsistent in the application of these sometimes conflicting requirements. At times, the Court takes a separationist position, erecting a solid wall between church and state, and at other times takes an accommodationist position, siding with an individual’s right to exercise their religious beliefs. Religious liberty under the First Amendment should not be limited to private individuals, but extended to corporations, and only when its application does not interfere with legitimate governmental interests. History shows that the Court has repeatedly found that constitutional rights extend to corporations. This controversial approach was recently seen in the Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014). Today, the Court continues to address this issue.
The Supreme Court case, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer (2017), revolves around the issue as to whether religious institutions can participate in public state secular aid programs. Back in 2012, Trinity Lutheran Church applied for the Scrap Tire Grant Program in Missouri in order to repair a playground in its preschool/daycare center. Under this program, Missouri would receive rubber from recycled tires that would be used to cover the play areas. The application, however, was declined by the Missouri state government because of a constitutional provision that stated that “no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion.” (American Bar)
We hold that the Court of Appeals, Second Circuit erred in holding that the town’s legislative prayer practice violated the Establishment Clause. Furthermore, we Reverse the holding of the Court of Appeals and find the practice of legislative prayer in this case to be in accordance with the Constitution and its Establishment clause.
They have also violated equal access act which stated that schools must not restrict or deny any student from attending any after-school club regardless of the club’s contents. The Equal Access Act also states that schools are allowed to be excluded from this act by prohibiting all non-curriculum clubs in the school. But since the school has always permitted non-curricular clubs, then there should be no valid reason as to why the boe of westside is prohibiting this christian club from operating. These are the reasons why the the Equal Access act did violate the Establishment act, since the Equal Access act only ensure that in public school the freedom of religion and speech is not violated by school regulations. In closing, we ask that the supreme court should uphold its decision that religious groups should be allowed to operate in public school because it does not violate the establishment clause and is protected by the Equal Access
In the case regarding the Amish community, a court case against Amish parents (Wisconsin v. Yoder), the Amish parents used the First Amendment under the free exercise clause to protect their religious belief that children do not need a “formal high school education beyond eighth grade”(Fossey and Eckes, 2015, p. 73). Or the case regarding Locke v Davey, in which the argument was about scholarship money could not be used for ministry program. The supreme courts decided that it did not violate the free exercise clause of the first amendment and left it for the discretion of the state. In the case of gay rights coalition of Georgetown University law center v. Georgetown University. Apparently, this student organization (LGBT) wanted to exercise
A public official allowing the deputy clerk to sign a same-sex marriage license does not violate the “Lemon Test”. However, making adherence to a religion can prohibit religion. Justice O’Connor concurred, that the Establishment Clause can prohibit in two principle ways and “One is excessive *688 entanglement with religious institutions, which may interfere with the independence of the institutions, give the institutions access to government or governmental powers not fully shared by nonadherent of the religion, and foster the creation of political constituencies defined along religious lines. E. g., Larkin v. Grendel 's Den, Inc., 459 U. S. 116 (1982)” (Lynch 688). When all things considered, to avoid entanglement between the state and church, and to affirm a religious right, RFRA claims will require some measures from the endorsement test. Importantly, when applying RFRA to Byrd’s case there was no entanglement between the state and church; Byrd’s refusal to sign same-sex marriage license was not impermissibly used to influence his religion; neither was he trying to avoid the government interference with religion. However, for a RFRA claims; it is required some measures from the endorsement test because of the growing increase of religion into the workplace. Providing that only the endorsement test will protect the religious rights of any one who is in the political community.
Respondent Hastings College of Law conditions official recognition of a student group on the group’s agreement to open membership to all students who want to join. Hastings College of Law is a public law school that maintains an open access policy that does not violate First Amendment rights, therefore does not need to provide a religion-based exception for CLS. All RSO’s are drawn from mandatory student activities fees, following the “all comers” policy that ensures what Justice Ruth Ginsburg said, “No Hastings student is forced to fund a group that would reject him or her as a member.” The issue that led CLS to press suit was the unconstitutional position to prohibit groups to form around beliefs but not around