Establishment Clause Jourisprudence Analysis

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Discretionary legislative accommodations and diverse religious beliefs are widely permitted in the United States except for a narrow range of cases disallowed by the Establishment Clause. This is because the Establishment Clause is synonym for religious freedom for individuals as well as organizations they may procure, thus, the clause 's predisposition rightly leans toward what is permitted. The First Amendment and legal precedent also provide a clear interpretation of permissible speech, yet, controversial court decisions in the past decade have placed religious issues into the spotlight. An analysis of modem Establishment Clause jurisprudence shows the Supreme Court (“Court”) has relied upon separation of church and state as its core basis …show more content…
Many have accused the Court of unevenly ruling against religious groups. In response to such criticism, the Court in its attempts at neutrality, has shown a shift away from relying on strict separation of church and state, “abandoning most of the special disabilities imposed by strict separation, as well as the special protections of religion afforded by exemptions”. The Court’s new approach has gained praise for enabling some religious citizens to receive government resources; yet, lower courts have had difficulty interpreting the higher Court’s rulings. The 2005 cases concerning the Ten Commandments of the Christian religion are a prime example. The Court allowed a monument to remain on display on government grounds in the Texas state capitol, but ordered the removal of a similar Ten Commandments display from a Kentucky courthouse. In a 2014 case, Felix v City of Bloomfield the 10th Circuit admitted it was at first conflicted on how to rule as a result of the split decisions by the Supreme Court, but ultimately ruled a Ten Commandments monument placed on municipal property violated the Establishment Clause. The court found public comments made in reference to “existing displays on public property may be interpreted to imbue a non-secular purpose”. In plain English, the court may have found the monument was valid if the sponsor of it had not made too many public …show more content…
To revive the epitome of religious liberty, this paper campaigns for a return to the neutral based origins of the First Amendment in the principle of religious tolerance. At any time the First Amendment’s fundamental stance on tolerance is deserted, injustice occurs. The framers desired tolerance, an element so indispensable for a diverse society that the state has a compelling interest in promoting it. Thus, there is a public assumption government should not give deference to religious philosophies over those of a secular nature as it could cause a rise in intolerance. A clear analysis of tolerance and its relation to the First Amendment gives insight on the appropriate role American democracy should take in regards to religion. Tolerance’s relationship with the First Amendment as well as its importance in the design of the Establishment Clause as a device to promote political and social harmony, through its uniting of a fragmented nation after the war of independence and the collapse of the Articles of the Federation will be assessed. A careful analysis will also show any governmental intrusion into matters of religion creates political and social conflict and is in complete discord with the framers original intent. An examination of John Locke’s influential philosophical ideologies of tolerance, the legal and political ramifications of

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