"Freedom of Religion"
Freedom of Religion The Establishment Clause & The Free Exercise Clause Freedom of Expression Two guarantees of religious freedom: Establishment Free Exercise Clause Clause • Guards against • Guards against the establishing a government mandated religion. interfering in the • In effect, freedom exercise of any from religion religion. • In effect, freedom for religion. Separation of Church and State “A wall of separation”? Thomas Jefferson Church and government However, the are government supports constitution churches and religion ally in a variety of ways, including tax separated exemption. from one another. Establishment Clause • 3 Tests to determine Constitutionality of laws: – Lemon Test – Endorsement Test – Coercion Test The Lemon Test Based on Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) • Does the challenged law, or other governmental action, have a bona fide secular (non-religious) or civic purpose? • Does the primary effect of the law or action neither advance nor inhibit religion? In other words, is it neutral? • Does the law or action avoid excessive entanglement of government with religion? The Endorsement Test Based on Lynch v. Donnelly (1984) • Does the challenged law or government action have the purpose or effect of endorsing or disapproving religion in the eyes of the • “Endorsement sends a message to non- adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community. community members” ~O’Connor Coercion Test Based on Lee v. Weisman (1992) • Does the law or practice have a psychological coercive effect • “The school district’s supervision and control of a high school graduation ceremony places subtle and indirect public and peer pressure on attending students to stand as a group or maintain respectful silence during the invocation and benediction.” ~Kennedy Religion and Education Establishment Clause Released Time—students can be released during school hours to attend religious classes, as long as the classes do not take place in a public facility Prayers and the Bible—the use of prayer and the Bible in a religious way is not allowed in school or at school functions Student Religious Groups—are allowed to meet in the school on the same basis as other student organizations Evolution—a doctrine can not be preferred or prohibited according to its relation to a religious theory Aid to Parochial Schools—the Supreme Court uses the Lemon test to determine what public funding of church-related schools is acceptable Other Establishment Clause Cases Seasonal Displays • Lynch v. Donnelly, 1984— allowed the display of a nativity scene along with other nonreligious objects on public land • Pittsburgh v. ACLU, 1989—allowed a multi-faith holiday display Chaplains • Marsh v. Chamber, 1983—allowed chaplains to open daily sessions of Congress and State legislatures Free Exercise Clause: Changing Interpretations • Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972): accommodation of religious conduct is required except where a state could show a compelling interest and no less burdensome means to achieve that end • Employment Division v. Smith (1990): although religious exercise is generally protected, this does not prevent the passage of neutral laws that incidentally impact certain religious practices The Free Exercise Clause Limited Upheld • Actions that violate social • The Court has found many duties or disrupt social government actions to be order are not covered under counter to the Free Exercise the Free Exercise Clause. Clause. – Examples: – Examples: – Bigamy – Amish children cannot be – Using poisonous snakes forced to go to school after during religious ceremonies grade 8 – Schoolchildren who have not – Ministers are allowed to hold been vaccinated elective office – Unemployment benefits cannot be denied to someone who quit their job because of religious beliefs Did the Government Violate the 1st Amendment Does the case involve: 1) Establishment Clause Or 2) Free Exercise Clause Or 3) Both Did the Government Violate the 1st Amendment • A state law disqualified members of the clergy from holding certain public offices. Exercise Violation Clause Did the Government Violate the 1st Amendment • A high school student who has been deaf since birth asks his school district to pay for a sign language interpreter to accompany him to classes at a local religious school. A federal law requires school districts to provide for the education of all children with disabilities. The school district (which had provided him with an interpreter while he attended the public school) refuses to pay. Establishment Non-Violation Clause Did the Government Violate the 1st Amendment • A state law authorizes a one-minute period of silence in all public schools “for meditation or voluntary prayer.” Establishment Violation Clause Did the Government Violate the 1st Amendment • A group of high school students applies to the school principal to form a prayer club. The group agrees to follow the rules required of student clubs, which meet twice a week at the beginning of the school day during an activity period. A faculty member volunteers to supervise the group. However, the principle refuses the group’s request. Trick Question: Establishment Violation of Clause Free Speech Did the Government Violate the 1st Amendment • A state requires citizens applying for unemployment benefits to accept appropriate jobs that are available. A citizen is denied continued unemployment compensation because she refuses to accept a job that requires her to work on the day she celebrates her Sabbath. Violation Exercise Clause Did the Government Violate the 1st Amendment • A state passes a law that it says is designed to give parents greater freedom of choice when selecting schools for their children. Parents may use a government voucher to pay tuition at a private or religiously affiliated schools. Non-Violation Establishment Clause