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The First Amendment


The First Amendment Establishment Clause Congress shall make no law respecting an ... At common law, the second marriage was always void (2 Kent, Com. 79), ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The First Amendment

The First Amendment
  • Establishment
  • Clause

Congress shall make no law respecting an
Establishment of religion.
10 bonus points for all that participate in the
recital of the Lords Prayer.
Is this constitutional?
Why or why not?
What does the Establishment Clause mean to you?

How has the Supreme Court interpreted the
Establishment Clause?
Is this a prayer?
We thank you for the flower so sweet We thank
you for the food we eat We thank you for the
birds that sing We thank you for everything.
  • A religion deals with issues of ultimate
  • concern with what makes life worth living
  • with basic attitudes toward fundamental
  • problems of human existence.
  • 2. A religion presents a comprehensive set
  • of ideas--usually as "truth," not just theory.
  • 3.  A religion generally has surface signs
  • (such as clergy, observed holidays, and ritual)
  • that can be analogized to well-recognized

Lemon v. Kurtzman
Constitutional Question Does awarding a 15
salary supplement to private school teachers who
teach only secular subjects violate the 1st
Amendments Establishment Clause?
Compelling Government Interest Private schools
were not as proficient in core subjects as
public schools.
Answer The salary supplement does violate the
Establishment Clause.
Lemon v. Kurtzman
The Lemon Test
1. Aid must be clearly secular
2. Must neither advance or prohibit religion
Lemon Test Continued
4. Must not lead to excessive Entanglement
Stone v. Graham
Constitutional Question Does A Kentucky Law
requiring the posting of the 10 Commandments
inside All public schools violate the
Establishment clause of The 1st Amendment?
Compelling Government Interest?
What About..
Student Prayer Groups
Congressional Prayer
The Pledge of Allegiance
Do we want a wall between church and state?
Free Exercise Clause
Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, Or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof,.
Reynolds v. U.S.
Does a federal law prohibiting polygamous
(celestial) marriage violate The 1st Amendments
Free Exercise Clause?
Compelling Government Interest
Polygamy has always been odious among the
northern and western nations of Europe, and,
until the establishment of the Mormon Church, was
almost exclusively a feature of the life of
Asiatic and of African people. At common law, the
second marriage was always void (2 Kent, Com.
79), and from the earliest history of England
polygamy has been treated as an offence against
Wisconsin v. Yoder
Constitutional Question Does Wisconsins
Compulsory School Attendance Law violate The
free exercise rights of the Amish?
Wisconsin v. Yoder Cont.
Compelling Government Interest The preparation
of youth to enter The real world as productive
and prepared citizens.
Wisconsin v. Yoder Cont.
Why dont the Amish want to send their children
to school past the 8th Grade?
Worldly Success
Worldly Influences
Wisconsin v. Yoder cont.
Amish Religion Teaches
Segregation from Worldly Influences
Community welfare rather than Competition
Wisdom rather than technical Knowledge
Wisconsin v. Yoder Cont.
Ruling Requiring Amish kids to attend public
secondary schools Would
Wisconsin v. Yoder Cont.
Supreme Court rejected the compelling government
interest of the state. The Supreme Court
established the fact that the Amish religion
was deeply rooted in history and thus a
legitimate religion with legitimate purposes.
Requiring Amish children to go to secondary
school would endanger their salvation.
The Compulsory school attendance law did unfairly
burden the free exercise rights of the amish,
but the law did not unfairly target them.