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Good News Club v. Milford Central School

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1 Good News Club v. Milford Central School
Allison Fears

2 Background 1992 : Policy formed that opened the school’s facilities
1996 : Good News Club asked superintendent to use school’s facilities Denied and the Club then went to the district court

3 People to know Plaintiff: Good News Club
Lawyer: Thomas Marcelle Defendant: Milford Central School Lawyer: Frank W. Miller

4 The original case Fought at United States District Court for the Northern District of New York Club argued that the school had broken their 1st and 14th amendment rights Club was teaching “moral values from a Christian perspective” (Court) Compared to FFA and Boy/Girl Scouts Court denied both arguments of law presented

5 Court of appeals 2 issues of law
1) Did Milford Central School violate “the free speech rights of the Good News Club when it excluded the club from meeting after hours at the school” 2) Is there any such violation that is “justified by Milford’s concern that permitting the Club’s activities would violate the Establishment Clause?

6 Court of appeals cont. Due to the Club’s events being typically religious and falling outside of the limitations of moral development, it was constitutional subject discrimination. The previous court case defined it as unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. However, Judge Jacobs “filed a dissenting opinion in which he concluded that the school’s restriction did constitute viewpoint discrimination. Milford had “not raised a valid Establishment Clause claim” and therefore, the claim could not excuse the viewpoint discrimination.

7 Transferred to supreme court
Good News Club v. Milford Central School 553 U.S. 98 (2001) February 28, 2001 – June 11, 2001 Court members: Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, and Associate Justices, John Stevens, Sandra Day, O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader, Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer

8 Limited Forum District’s policy created a limited public forum
Does not allow all forms of speech to take place Restriction: cannot discriminate speech based on viewpoint Discrimination violated 1st amendment Final vote: Good news club—6 / Milford Central school—3

9 Dissenting opinion Written by Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg
Religious speech is divided into three different kinds Topic in a religious perspective, Worship, and promoting the gospel Could forum allow the 1st kind without allowing the other two? Policy restricted activities pertaining to religious purposes Superintendent stated that the policy allowed the teaching that God created the world but not the promotion of the gospel The club’s activities involved all three kinds of speech School was not breaking forum but was hard to tell because of the different viewpoints on how speech is divided

10 Political Impact Schools open their doors to religious groups such as younglife and Wildlife to hold meetings Similar youth groups have had a major boost in popularity form supreme court case The more people that know = the bigger the spread Also put a huge impact on the current fight of religion in school

11 Works Cited Court Decision - Good News Club v. Milford Central School. n.d. <http://atheism.about.com/library/decisions/religion/bl_l_GoodNewsMilford.htm>. Good News Club v Milford Central School. n.d. <http://www.belcherfoundation.org/good_news_club_opinion.htm>. Good News Club v. Milford Central School. n.d. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/ /2000/2000_99_2036>. GOOD NEWS CLUB V. MILFORD CENTRAL SCHOOL. n.d. <http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99->. Good News Club v. Milford Central School (2001). n.d. <http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/tmkeck/Cases/GoodNewsClubvMilford2001.html>.

12 Works Cited (pictures)
"Thomas Marcelle." The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov <http://www.oyez.org/advocates/m/t/thomas_marcelle>. Web. 26 Nov <http://cefvolusia.org/resources/_wsb_100x100_Faces.png>. Web. 26 Nov <http://www.uticanational.com/ero/seminar/images/Miller.gif>.


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