Posts Tagged ‘establishment clause’

Much to-do about history for divided high court

Though sharply divided on whether legislative prayers in Greece, N.Y., are permissible, two Supreme Court justices agree that history factors into the constitutional calculus.

Dispelling the myth of a ‘Christian nation’

The Framers of our Constitution knew the time had come to break from the precedents of history and bar any religious group from ever imposing itself on the nation.

A right for the religious is a right for the nonreligious

Pushback from atheists on religious monuments, military chaplains and other issues is triggered by frequent lack of equal treatment for the nonreligious in a society that often privileges religion.

Legislative prayers, the Supreme Court’s self-created quagmire

When the U.S. Supreme Court declared legislative prayers constitutional 30 years ago, the justices sent a convoluted message to legislatures, city councils and other government bodies.

Graduation prayer, fighting over a lost cause

School officials in Lake City, Arkansas have come up with a novel solution to the fight over prayer at graduation: No prayer, no graduation.

Ten Commandments controversy revisited

It’s been almost 10 years since the Rutherford County, Tennessee, lost a very expensive lawsuit over the posting of the Ten Commandments in the county Courthouse. Now, Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold has posted the Ten Commandments in his department’s lobby, along with a copy of the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

Ground Zero Cross: A display is not a shrine

On March 28, a group of atheists in New York lost round one in their legal battle to keep the “Ground Zero Cross” out of the National September 11 Museum in lower Manhattan.

McCollum v. Board of Education: A lesson in liberty

The Champaign public school district’s decision to invite representatives of multiple faiths to teach in its classrooms led to a historic U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down 65 years ago on March 8, 1948 For the first time, the Court declared that the establishment clause of the First Amendment applied to the states, sharply limiting efforts to incorporate religious activities into public schools.

In Texas schools, failing grade for Bible courses

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the devotional use of the Bible by public schools, in its ruling on Abington Township v. Schempp.
But many school districts in the Lone Star State still haven’t gotten the message, according to a report released last month by the Texas Freedom Network (TFN) entitled [...]

In Christmas wars, it’s all or nothing

Maybe it’s time atheists declared victory and stay home for the holidays — let Christians set up Nativity displays in public spaces unanswered in December and save atheist messages for another time.

Burger’s birthday: His Court’s rulings shaped First Amendment law

As chief justice from 1969-1986, Warren Burger wrote important Supreme Court majority opinions on the establishment clause, obscenity and prior restraint.

50 years later, how school-prayer ruling changed America

Critics of Supreme Court ruling in Engel v. Vitale have one thing right: The decision changed America — just not in the way they think, because God was not ‘kicked out’ of public schools.

In New York City, does church-school separation go too far?

It’s hard to see how permitting religious groups to use public schools for worship services when students aren’t around violates church-state separation.

South Texas takes home top Moot Court honors

American University is runner-up in 22nd annual competition sponsored by First Amendment Center, Vanderbilt University Law School.

Pagans, atheists, Christians and the battle for equal treatment

‘Equal treatment’ is a siren song few faith communities can resist, but applying it is often messy for government at best — and dangerous for religion at worst.

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