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Government_Court_Case - Page Text Content

BC: E-mailed

FC: Lemon V. Kurtzman | Jake Stanton Michael Wood

1: Table of Contents | Background Information: 2-5 Journey to the Supreme Court: 6-9 Supreme Court Decision and Rationale: 10-14 Further Development and Aftermath: 15-25 Citations: 26

2: In1968, Pennsylvania introduced the Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which allowed the state Superintendent of Public Instruction to reimburse nonpublic schools for the salaries of teachers who taught secular material in these nonpublic schools, secular textbooks and secular instructional materials, this violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

3: Alton Lemon, found out that taxes coming from racetrack tickets were being paid to private schools under a law providing materials to private schools. He didn't like this and decided to consult Henry W. Sawyer, a lawyer who banned school-led prayers. There was a problem though, he never bought a ticket showing that he had to pay a tax going to these schools. Without a ticket he had no standing to sue.

4: He filed a suit pleading the government was wrong for helping out classes and schools to religious people. This violated the Establishment Cause under the First Amendment stating that Congress can not help promote religion | Alton Lemon

5: He had a strong case saying that in order to fulfill our goal of separation of church and state we can now hand out extra money to private schools because they teach religion

6: Lemon v. Kurtzman: -Defendants made a motion to dismiss on the pleadings - Defendants claimed that the pleadings did not state an adequate case | Journey to the Supreme Court

7: Lemon v. Kurtzman (continued): | - The Court held a hearing on said motion - The three judge panel ruled against Lemon - One judge wrote an articulate dissent in support of Lemon -Without anybody presenting testimony or even evidence, Sawyer (and Lemon), filed an appeal - The case moved on to the Supreme Court

8: L | Robinson v. DiCenso and Early v. DiCenso: | - As in Lemon, the plaintiff offered no evidence - The defendant did testify - A three judge panel granted an injunction -This stopped the state program -The cases moved on to the Supreme Court

9: Lemon v. Kurtzman Early v. DiCenso + Robinson v. Dicenso Lemon v. Kurtzman | The Supreme Court granted the Certiorari, and combined all three cases because of their similar nature.

10: After interpreting the "Establish Clause" of the First Amendment, the Court determined if, under said clause, Pennsylvania's 1968 Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act was constitutional.

11: The court determined if the act: | - had a secular purpose | - advanced or inhibited religion | - resulted in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion

12: The Court found in favor of Lemon | 8-0 Vote | Thurgood Marshall did not participate in the vote

13: Majority Opinion: | - Pennsylvania’s 1968 Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by resulting in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion | - Black, Douglas, Harlan, Stewart, Blackmun, Marshall, headed by Burger

14: Concurring Opinion: | - Douglas, joined by Black - Opposed the taxpayers' forced contribution to the parochial schools in the, as it violated the First Amendment

15: Aftermath Cases of Lemon V Kurtzman | Lemon V Kurtzman was a very controversial case because it tried to establish what was considered to be under the "Establishment Cause" under the 1st Amendment. Many People and cases regarding schools and religion refer back to this court case for help. Local and State Governments aren't allowed to give extra money to school for teaching religious material.

16: The Court derived the "Lemon Test" during this a case, a three pronged test still used today. | Prong 1: the government's action must have a secular legislative purpose Prong 2: The government's action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion Prong 3: The government's action must not result in an excessive government entanglement with religion

17: Real World Applications of the Lemon Test | A public elementary school attempted to erect a totem pole, and offer prayer to "Mother Earth." Students protested this ceremony, and the the school decided to to change plans in order to avoid "religious undertones" | A private, religious school aimed towards helping deaf children in need of speech therapy sought tax-funded teachers to help teach the children. This was protested because it would violate the "Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment.

18: The Court has utilized the Lemon Test as recently as 2000, in the Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v Doe. The Court did not overturn the Lemon Test despite a good deal of speculation that it might do so. | Conservative judges such as Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas oppose the Lemon Test.

19: Sante Fe V Jane Doe | It ruled that a policy permitting student-led, student-initiated prayer at high school football games violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Oral arguments were heard March 29, 2000. The court announced its decision on June 19, holding the policy unconstitutional in a 6-3 decision.

20: McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union | In a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that the displays—in this case, a Ten Commandments display at the McCreary County courthouse in Whitley City, Kentucky and a Ten Commandments display at the Pulaski County courthouse were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled on June 27, 2005, in a 5-4 decision, that the display was unconstitutional

21: Marburger & Griggs v. Public Funds for Public Schools | A NJ plan at issue reimbursed parents of non-Public School children $10 - $20 dollars for schools books and provided additional funds to schools for supplies, equipment and services

22: Byrne v. Public Funds for Public Schools | A NJ statute allowed the parents of non-public school children to receive a personal deduction of $1,000 against gross income for reimbursement of the costs of non-public education. The vote was 6 to 3, with the tax breaks being unconstitutional

23: Stone v. Graham | A KY statute provides for the placement of the 10 Commandments in all public school classrooms - funding to come from private sources rather than the state or federal coffers. A disclaimer appeared at the bottom of the display asserting that the 10 Commandments had a secular purpose for being in the classroom insomuch as they were the basis of Western Law. The vote was 5-4 in vote to take down the ten commandments.

24: Board of Education v. Mergens | Students at a public High School asked for permission to start an extracurricular religious club to meet during non-instructional time. The School Board denied permission on the ground that it would violate the Establishment Clause. The students sued claiming the School Board had violated the Equal Access Act. Mergens won 8-1 saying that the school didn't endorse the club

25: Rosenberger v. University of Virginia | A student organization at the University of Virginia applied for status as a student group entitled to certain benefits including the payment of publication fees for its religious-oriented newspaper. The University denied the group the status and benefits, and the group sued claiming a violation of the Free Speech and Establishment Clauses.

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  • Title: Government_Court_Case
  • Lemon v. Kurtzman
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