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Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe

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Patrick Neafsey

on 20 February 2013

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Transcript of Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe

Santa Fe Independent School District
v. Jane Doe Patrick Neafsey
v. Robert Marcus The Arguments District Court Prosecution Defense A student official recited prayers from the bible over the school PA system The Law The First Amendment in the Constitution explicitly says that Church And State be separate,
yet a prayer was said at a school event using state property. What needs to happen Previous Court cases with similar violations Lee vs. Weisman
-A rabbi was invited to lead a prayer at a high school graduation.
-Ruled a violation of the first amendment by the Supreme Court. THE LAW Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." THE FACTS REFERENCES Lee v. Weisman
Cited by appellate court
Graduations are mandatory, while football games are voluntary
Widmar v. Vincent
Use of buildings on state university campus for religious worship
Ruled constitutional
Both public, state owned facilities History: * A clear separation of the school and prayers must be established. * School sponsored prayers must be illegal * Students should not be forced to listen to prayers at a potentially mandatory extra-curricular activity New policy
No longer required, but allowed prayer
2 student elects of the senior class decided
Reformed so that it was nonproselytizing toward non-religious students. The Doe's wanted the prayers at the school high school game found unconstitutional, not a change of policy The Appellate Court |Doe The Appellate Court | SFISD The Decision The Majority Opinion The Dissenting Opinion The fact that the prayers were allowed to be said over school property, with the knowledge of the school, at an extra-curricular activity were certain students are required to be present is a clear violation o the first amendment, separation of church and state On June 19, 2000, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the delivery of prayers over the public address system before home varsity football games was unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. "To solemnize the event, to promote good sportsmanship and student safety, and to establish the appropriate environment for the competition." Picture Sources: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/kennedyprayer.html
http://www.oyez.org/courts/rehnquist/rehn2 Student elects read prayers before High School football games
Suit from Christian and Morman families under Establishment Clause “The high school student council shall conduct an election, by the high school student body, by secret ballot, to determine whether such a message or invocation will be a part of the pre-game ceremonies and if so, shall elect a student, from a list of student volunteers, to deliver the statement or invocation. … Any message and/or invocation delivered by a student must be nonsectarian and nonproselytizing." The use of "nonsectarian" and "nonproselytizing" is unnecessary
A football game is private speech, therefore the original policy should be constitutional CONSTITUTIONAL Private speech
Voluntary event Chief Justice Rhenquist, with Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas, dissent
Under the reformed policy, message was only religious by choice of the speaker
Ruling is that intent of prayer is unconstitutional, while it is stated that the prayer is very secular.
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