Presentation on theme: "2000. Background Prior to 1995, a student elected as Santa Fe High School's student council chaplain delivered a prayer, described as overtly Christian,"— Presentation transcript:
Background Prior to 1995, a student elected as Santa Fe High School's student council chaplain delivered a prayer, described as overtly Christian, over the public address system before each home varsity football game. One Mormon and one Catholic family filed suit challenging this practice and others under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Main Question Does the Santa Fe Independent School District's policy permitting student-led, student-initiated prayer at football games violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?
Majority Decision In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Court held that the District's policy permitting student-led prayer at football games violates the Establishment Clause. The Court concluded that the football game prayers were public speech authorized by a government policy and taking place on government property at government- sponsored school-related events and that the District's policy involved both perceived and actual government endorsement of the delivery of prayer at important school events.
Background George Reynolds, secretary to Mormon Church leader Brigham Young, challenged the federal anti- bigamy statuteBilly. Joe Reynolds pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly failing to register and update a registration, in violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). On appeal, he challenged the constitutionality of SORNA and the legality of the Interim Rule implementing that law. He also argued that his guilty plea should be invalidated because he is "actually innocent" of violating SORNA's registration requirements. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected his arguments and affirmed the conviction.
Main Question 1. Does Reynolds have standing under SORNA to raise claims concerning the Attorney General's Interim Rule? 2. Is review by the Court necessary to resolve a split among the circuit courts?
Majority Decision Yes and yes. In a 7-2 decision written by Justice Stephen Breyer, the Court held that without an affirmative action by the Attorney General, pre-act offenders would not be obligated to register under SORNA. Hence, the Interim Rule must be valid for Reynolds to fall within SORNA’s authority. The Court therefore reversed the Third Circuit’s decision and remanded the case to determine if the Attorney General's Interim Rule is a valid specification.
Background Police officers sought a bombing suspect and evidence of the bombing at the petitioner, Miss Mapp’s (the “petitioner”) house. After failing to gain entry on an initial visit, the officers returned with what purported to be a search warrant, forcibly entered the residence, and conducted a search in which obscene materials were discovered. The petitioner was tried and convicted for these materials.
Main Question Were the confiscated materials protected by the First Amendment? (May evidence obtained through a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment be admitted in a state criminal proceeding?)
Majority Decision 6 votes for Mapp, 3 vote(s) against. The Court brushed aside the First Amendment issue and declared that "all evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by [the Fourth Amendment], inadmissible in a state court." Mapp had been convicted on the basis of illegally obtained evidence. It placed the requirement of excluding illegally obtained evidence from court at all levels of the government. The decision launched the Court on a troubled course of determining how to apply the exclusionary rule.
Background Social activist, including comedian Dick Gregory, protested against school segregation in Chicago, Illinois in 1966. The marchers marched form city hall to the Mayor’s residence. Then the protesters start to protest adamantly and the police asked the protesters to disperse. The protesters did not disperse and were arrested for demonstrating. The Illinois supreme court held their conviction so they went to the Supreme Court.
Main Question Should the protesters conviction be held, or did the police violate their First Amendment?
Majority Decision In an unanimous decision they overturned their convictions. Petitioners were denied due process since there was no evidentiary support for their conviction. The convictions were for demonstrating not for disobeying police orders. The trial judges charge allowed the jury to convict for against protected by the First Amendment.
Background -Arkansas (defendant) adopted statute in 1928 prohibiting teaching evolution in schools and outlawed any textbooks containing information on evolution. Forrest Rozzel (Secretary of the Arkansas Board of Education Association) challenged law as violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Contitution. Recruited Susan Epperson (plaintiff) to file declaratory judgment action to challenge constitutionality of the stature -Chancery Court – ruled in Epperson’s favor – unconstitutional -AR Supreme Court – reversed – valid exercise of state’s power to specify curriculum in public schools -Epperson appealed to US Supreme Court
Main Question Does a law that forbids the teaching of evolution violate the Establishment Clause of the First Ammendment?
Majority Decision Yes. A law that forbids the teaching of evolution violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. 9-0 (unanimous) decision Reasoning: AR selected information solely because it conflicted with a particular religious doctrine Right for states to choose curriculum, but does not include the right to make it a crime to teach scientific doctrine or theory based on its conflict with religious beliefs
Backgorund Sydell Stone, et al., Challenged Kentucky state law requiring the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments in each public school classroom Filed a claim against James Graham, superintendent of public schools in KY
Main Question Is the KY statute violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?
Majority Decision Decision: 5 votes for Stone, 4 votes against Legal provision: Establishment of Religion Court ruled KY law violated first part of the test established in Lemon v. Kurtzman and thus violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution The requirement of posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms “had no secular legislative purpose” and was “plainly religious in nature” Commandments didn’t only include secular matters, but worship and religion, too.
Background The case began because the state of Pennsylvania passed a law that allowed the local government to use money to fun educational programs that thought religious-based lessons, activates and studies. The case of Lemon vs. Kurtzman was filed by Alton Lemon, a Pennsylvania instructor who claimed that the state had violated the United States Constitution by passing the law mentioned above. Lemon believed that Pennsylvania violated the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution because the Constitution does not allow the establishment of any state laws or legislation that combine the interests of religious people with the interests of the state’s population.
Main Question Did the Rhode Island and Pennsylvania statutes violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause by making state financial aid available to "church- related educational institutions"?
Majority Decision 8 votes for Lemon, 0 vote(s) against Yes, to be constitutional, a statute must have "a secular legislative purpose," it must have principal effects which neither advance nor inhibit religion, and it must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion." The Court found that the subsidization of parochial schools furthered a process of religious inculcation, and that the "continuing state surveillance" necessary to enforce the specific provisions of the laws would inevitably entangle the state in religious affairs.
Background The West Virginia Board of Education adopted a measure requiring that all public school students salute the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Students who did not participate could be expelled; their parents could even lose custody of them. A group of Jehovah's Witnesses challenged the law on First Amendment grounds. They argued that the forced flag salute conflicted with their religious beliefs against idol worship and graven images, and therefore violated their free exercise of religion and freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment.
Main Question Does a compulsory flag-salute law for school children violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments?
Majority Decision By a 6-3 vote, the Court held that school officials do violate the First Amendment by compelling students to salute the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The Court found that such a salute was a form of utterance and was a means of communicating ideas. "Compulsory unification of opinion," the Court held, was doomed to failure and was antithetical to First Amendment values.
Background The city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, annually erected a Christmas display located in the city's shopping district. The display included such objects as a Santa Claus house, a Christmas tree, a banner reading "Seasons Greetings," and a nativity scene. The creche had been included in the display for over 40 years. Daniel Donnelly objected to the display and took action against Dennis Lynch, the Mayor of Pawtucket.
Main Question Did the inclusion of a nativity scene in the city's display violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment?
Majority Decision No. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court held that notwithstanding the religious significance of the creche, the city had not violated the Establishment Clause. The Court found that the display, viewed in the context of the holiday season, was not a purposeful or surreptitious effort to advocate a particular religious message. The Court found that the display merely depicted the historical origins of the Holiday and had "legitimate secular purposes." The Court held that the symbols posed no danger of establishing a state church.
Background An Alabama law authorized teachers to conduct regular religious prayer services and activities in school classrooms during the school day. Three of Jaffree's children attended public schools in Mobile. Hey toke it to the courts.
Main Question Did Alabama law violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause?
Majority Decision Yes. In a 6 to 3 decision the Court determined the constitutionality of Alabama's prayer and meditation statute by applying the secular purpose test, which asked if the state's actual purpose was to endorse or disapprove of religion. The Court held that Alabama's passage of the prayer and meditation statute was not only a deviation from the state's duty to maintain absolute neutrality toward religion, but was an affirmative endorsement of religion. As such, the statute clearly lacked any secular purpose as it sought to establish religion in public schools, thereby violating the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.