The Pros And Cons Of The Establishment Clause

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A part of the First Amendment of the constitution states “[c]ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The Establishment Clause intends to prevent any government endorsement or support of religion (Freedom of Religion and the Establishment Clause). Throughout history and different time periods, many contrasting interpretations of this clause have formed. Many court cases have helped develop the meaning the this Clause. The Establishment Clause’s interpretation remains controversial, although numerous tests have helped the Clause itself.
The perception of the Establishment Clause has several components. This clause does not only prevent the government from establishing an official religion, but it prohibits the
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Board of Education case adjusted the severity of the Establishment Clause. A New Jersey law allowed parents who sent their children on school busses which was provided by the school to be reimbursed of their money. Children who attended Catholic schools also qualified for reimbursement, which caused controversy. Many believed that the New Jersey law violated the Establishment Clause as it was made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The court concluded in a 5 - 4 decision that the New Jersey law for reimbursing parents to religious schools did not violate the Establishment Clause. This law did not provide money to any of the schools or support their religion directly. It assisted various parents to get their children safely to school, which did not violate the First Amendment (Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of …show more content…
This test is one of the commonly used tests to interpret the Establishment Clause. In 1971, there was a court case, Lemon v. Kurtzman, which is where the name of the test derived from. The Court closed a state program who provided aid to religious schools - elementary and secondary. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island adopted laws to pay for non-public education. Various components of this included paying for a portion of the teachers salaries, materials, textbooks, and several others. In Pennsylvania, many citizens argued that this violated the separation of the church and state. Citizens in Rhode Island called this act unconstitutional as it violated the Establishment Clause. The court in a decision of 8 - 1 decided that it was unconstitutional. A three-pronged test called The Lemon Test was created in order to avoid violating the Establishment Clause (Lemon v. Kurtzman -

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