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Engel vs Vitale 1962

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Incarnation Catholic

on 28 May 2015

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Transcript of Engel vs Vitale 1962

Engel vs Vitale 1962
Background

The plaintiffs where 3 Jews and 2 "religious people" that had no specific church affiliation.

School board of regents authorized a short, voluntary daily prayer to defuse the politically potent issue.

Jewish student did not like that they said a prayer every morning at school.

The prayer was against the Jewish beliefs.

So Engel took this to court to be settled and have prayer taken out of school.

The regents though that prayer would help to build character and good citizenship in their state.
Background
The American Jewish Committee, the Synagogue Council of America, and the American Ethical Union each submitted briefs urging the Court to instead reverse and rule that the prayer was unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs argued that opening the school day with such a prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Justice Felix Frankfurter suffered a cerebral stroke that forced him to retire and Justice Byron White took no part in the case of Engel vs Vitale.

Catholic Viewpoint
Effect in american
In fact, there is more religious expression since this case has removed a Christian only school prayer.

Now more kids are showing that they are religious whether they are Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, or Christians.

It has continued to be a basis for upholding similar cases such as Lee v. Weisman and Wallace v. Jeffree

Catholic support of prayer in public school has declined scince the 1970's. Because of social networks younger Catholics realize that not everyone is Christian.
Engel vs Vitale
Engel vs Vitale is about whether it is legal to recite a prayer in public schools before the beginning of the day. This case took place in New York state.
Reason case was brought to The Supreme Court
Engel petitioned U.S. Supreme Court because the lower courts didn't rule in his favor.
It was a question of constitutionality regarding the First Amendment Establishment Clause.
It deals with the separation of Church and State.
Decision
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Engel with a vote of 6-1 because of the Establishment Clause of the first amendment which says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Justice Stewart was the only dissenting vote because he did not belive it was " establishing an official religion".
Full transcript