Engel vs. Vitale (1962)

Engel vs. Vitale (1962)

Storyboard Text

  • Court Case
  • Engel vs. Vitale1962
  • Issue
  • Plaintiff's Argument
  • "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
  • Argued April 3rd, 1962Decided June 25th, 1962
  • Defendant's Argument
  • Does a public school requirement that students participate in a nondenominational prayer violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, as it is applied to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment?
  • Majority Opinion
  • In 1959 Steven Engel and a group of parents argued that the prayer their children recited in school violated the 1st amendment establishment clause (applied through 14th amendment)
  • Dissenting Opinion
  • "The state is not imposing a religious belief by using this prayer. There was a sufficient separation of Church and State so that the 1st Amendment was not infringed."
  • School Board President William Vitale (Defendant) argued that because the recitation was voluntary, it did not violate the First Amendment.
  • Requiring public school students to participate in a religious prayer is unconstitutional.
  • The Establishment Clause was only meant to prohibit the establishment of a state-sponsored church.
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