Free Speech Rights, The Establishment Clause, And Their Incorporation Under The 14th Amendment

Decent Essays
This case involves a number of issues concerning free speech rights, the Establishment Clause, and their incorporation under the 14th Amendment. First, the Court must first decide whether the school facilities sought for use by the petitioner constitute a public forum to determine which standard of review should be applied to the State’s regulations. Upon establishing the standard of review to be used, the Court must determine whether the 1st Amendment free speech rights of the petitioner as applied to the states by the 14th Amendment were violated by the policy in question. If such a violation is found, the Court must subsequently rule whether said violation was justified by, as the State will argue, a compelling state interest in avoiding a violation of the Establishment Clause. Independent from these other issues, the Court must determine if, as the District Court ruled, the School Board’s policy’s distinction between permitted and prohibited activities is unconstitutionally vague. Before discussing arguments concerning these issues, several matters of fact need be established. St. Michael’s School Board as an elected body governing public school facilities acts as with the authority of the State of Missouri. The policy of public school officials constitute state action. The state policy at issue in this case opens public school facilities for use of the public after school hours, but restricts access to those facilities from groups like the petitioner’s who intend
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