The Pros And Cons Of The Establishment Clause

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The First Amendment declares, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. The fundamental ideas behind the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause are both involved in the literature of this statement. Both of these clauses support the separation of government involvement in religious affairs. Nonetheless, the Establishment Clause is distinct from the former because it specifically “requires a degree of separation between church and state” (Rossum, 281). The last century has seen a great deal of governmental interaction with religious groups and practices. As a result, the use of litigation to settle these disputes has been extremely prevalent. Perhaps, the first trial to outline the Establishment Clause was Everson v. Board of Education. The court ruled in a 5-4 decision upholding a New Jersey program that covered the cost of bus transportation for students attending private schools (Rossum, 281). Although the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the religious students, it unanimously agreed that the Establishment Clause was designed to serve as a separating force between church and state. Justice Black’s subsequent statement regarding the court’s decision was significant considering its implications from that point forward. His statement suggested that the Establishment Clause imposes equally strict restrictions on state and federal actions regarding religious affairs. Moreover, it stated that the

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