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Response to NotMyFuhrer (Original post)

Mon Jun 26, 2017, 02:11 PM

3. No. Supremes following 1947 precendent, Everson

Last edited Mon Jun 26, 2017, 02:43 PM - Edit history (1)



After repealing a former ban, a New Jersey law authorized payment by local school boards of the costs of transportation to and from schools including private schools. Of the private schools that benefited from this policy, 96% were parochial Catholic schools. Arch R. Everson, a taxpayer in Ewing Township, filed a lawsuit alleging that this indirect aid to religion through the mechanism of reimbursing parents and students for costs incurred as a result of attending religious schools violated both the New Jersey state constitution and the First Amendment. After a loss in the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, then the state's highest court, Everson appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on purely federal constitutional grounds.


The 5-4 decision was handed down on February 10, 1947, and was based upon the writing of James Madison (Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments) and Thomas Jefferson (Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom).[9] The Court, through Justice Hugo Black, ruled that the state bill was constitutionally permissible because the reimbursements were offered to all students regardless of religion and because the payments were made to parents and not any religious institution. Perhaps as important as the actual outcome, though, was the interpretation given by the entire Court to the Establishment Clause. It reflected a broad interpretation of the Clause that was to guide the Court's decisions for decades to come. Black's language was sweeping:

"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State.'" 330 U.S. 1, 15-16.


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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
NotMyFuhrer Jun 2017 OP
elleng Jun 2017 #1
leftstreet Jun 2017 #2
LineNew Reply No. Supremes following 1947 precendent, Everson
no_hypocrisy Jun 2017 #3
snooper2 Jun 2017 #4
HAB911 Jun 2017 #5
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