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Separation of Church and State: Constitutional Policy in Conflict
Unformatted Document Text:  Separation of Church and State: Constitutional Policy in Conflict 7 The Religious Right Takes Action The following Supreme Court rulings have inspired interest groups of the religious and conservative right to take political action because they feel violated by certain court decisions. Court rulings often affect religious or certain ethical or moral practices within public institutions. U.S. Supreme Court Rulings on Public Schools: Supreme Court interpretations of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause, begin to effectively incorporate First Amendment protections through the 14 th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses to state laws, with Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940) 3 [relevant to Free Exercise of Religion]. With this case, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision stating Cantwell [a Jehovah’s Witness] was exercising unpopular views, “…by playing an anti-Catholic record to passersby on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut…” therefore committing a breach of the peace. The Court further pointed out that his actions caused “no clear and present menace to public peace and order…and therefore his conviction was unconstitutional (McConnell et al 2006, 64, 74, 124; and at UMKC Univ. Missouri-KansasCity http://www.googlesyndicatedsearch.com/u/umkc?q=Establishment+Clause&site=none ). With a vote of 5-4 in Everson v. Board of Education (1947) 4 [relevant to the Establishment Clause): the Court upheld a state law that reimbursed parents for the cost of busing their children to parochial schools because the Majority felt the parents were only reimbursed, not the parochial school. It is suggested that the majority of justices on the Supreme Court viewed “the wall” separating church and state more as a shifting, porous barrier (McConnell, 63-64; UMKC http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/estabinto.htm ). 3 310 U.S. 296 (1940) 4 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

Authors: Oberbauer, Angela.
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Separation of Church and State: Constitutional Policy in Conflict 7
The Religious Right Takes Action
The following Supreme Court rulings have inspired interest groups of the religious and
conservative right to take political action because they feel violated by certain court decisions.
Court rulings often affect religious or certain ethical or moral practices within public institutions.
U.S. Supreme Court Rulings on Public Schools:
Supreme Court interpretations of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause, begin to
effectively incorporate First Amendment protections through the 14
th
Amendment’s due process
and equal protection clauses to state laws, with Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940)
3
[relevant to Free
Exercise of Religion]. With this case, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision stating
Cantwell [a Jehovah’s Witness] was exercising unpopular views, “…by playing an anti-Catholic
record to passersby on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut…” therefore committing a breach of
the peace. The Court further pointed out that his actions caused “no clear and present menace to
public peace and order…and therefore his conviction was unconstitutional (McConnell et al 2006,
64, 74, 124; and at UMKC Univ. Missouri-KansasCity
http://www.googlesyndicatedsearch.com/u/umkc?q=Establishment+Clause&site=none
).
With a vote of 5-4 in Everson v. Board of Education (1947)
4
[relevant to the Establishment
Clause): the Court upheld a state law that reimbursed parents for the cost of busing their children to
parochial schools because the Majority felt the parents were only reimbursed, not the parochial
school. It is suggested that the majority of justices on the Supreme Court viewed “the wall”
separating church and state more as a shifting, porous barrier (McConnell, 63-64; UMKC
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/estabinto.htm
).
3
310 U.S. 296 (1940)
4
330 U.S. 1 (1947)


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