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Lemon v. Kurtzman

Supreme Court Case

Mackenzie King

on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of Lemon v. Kurtzman

The Constitutional Issue People involved in Lemon vs. Kurtzman U.S. Supreme Court Case: Lemon v. Kurtzman Dissenting Opinion The vote was unanimous, so there was no dissenting opinion. Majority Opinion The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger. In this he stated that the statute was unconstitutional according to the Religion clauses of the First Amendment. This is because the “entire relationship arising under the statute involves excessive entanglement between government and religion.” Within his written opinion, Chief Justice Burger created a three-part test for laws dealing with religious establishment. The test declared that in order for a statute to be constitutional, (1) it must have “a secular legislative purpose”, (2) it must “have principle effects which neither advance nor inhibit religion”, and (3) it must not “foster an excessive government entanglement with religion.” Block: 1 Mackenzie King Final Court Ruling The Supreme Court unanimously (8-0) found that direct government assistance to religious schools was unconstitutional. Alton J. Lemon Plaintiff Alton J. Lemon David H. Kurtzman Henry W. Sawyer J. Shane Cramer School Instructor Member of the American Civil Liberties Union Attended Morehouse College in Atlanta Taxpayer who was unwilling to support NESEA, because he believed that it was a violation on the 1st Amendment David H. Kurtzman Defendant Superintendent of Public Instruction of Pennsylvania Acting University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Born near Odessa, Ukraine Served as a key aide to David L. Lawrence, mayor of Pittsburgh Joined the newly-elected Governor Lawrence in 1959 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as his secretary of administration. The case began because the state of Pennsylvania passed a law that allowed the local government to use money to fund educational programs that taught religious-based lessons, activities and studies. This law was passed through the Non-public Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968. The case of Lemon v. Kurtzman was filed by Alton Lemon, a Pennsylvania instructor who claimed that the state had violated the United States Constitution by passing the law. 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. Henry W. Sawyer Chief Lawyer for Alton Lemon April 2, 2013 Summary J. Shane Cramer Chief Lawyer for David Kurtzman Whether states can create programs that provide financial support to nonpublic elementary and secondary schools by way or reimbursement for the cost of teachers’ salaries, textbooks, and instructional materials in specified secular subjects (Pennsylvania). Historical Significance This case developed the “Lemon Test,” which is a three-part test used to determine if a statute violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. There are still many cases where the government indirectly supports religion which brings many questions about the constitutionality of these instances. Works Cited http://kids.laws.com/lemon-v-kurtzman http://archive.firstamendmentcenter.org/analysis.aspx?id=13376 http://www.encyclopedia.com/article-1G2-3457000036/lemon-v-kurtzman-1971.html http://camboucourt.wikispaces.com/Lemon+Period+1 http://www.firstamendmentschools.org/freedoms/case.aspx?id=477 http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/rule-of-law/judicial-activism/cases/lemon-v-kurtzman http://www.enotes.com/lemon-v-kurtzman-reference/lemon-v-kurtzman-299518 https://www.google.com
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