Engel v. Vitale

Engel v. Vitale

Storyboard Text

  • Engel v. Vitale (1962)
  • Does a public school requirement that students participate in a nondenominational prayer violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, as applied to states by the Fourteenth Amendment?
  • ISSUE
  • Plaintiff’s argument
  • A prayer was spoken aloud and in the presence of a teacher, who either led the prayer or selected a student to do so. Steven Engel against board president William Vitale, argued that the prayer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
  • We Shall Now Pray...
  • We want to pray!
  • Defendant’s argument
  • The defendant, school board president William Vitale, argued that, as recitation was voluntary, it was not in violation of the First Amendment.
  • Amen!
  • requiring public school students to participate in a religious prayer is unconstitutional!
  • Majority Opinion
  • "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Bring. "
  • Establishment clause was only meant to prohibit the establishment of a state-sponsored church.
  • Dissenting Opinion
  • "those who wanted to could still "find a place in which (they) could pray when they) pleased to the God of (their) faith in the language (they) chose."
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