Landmark Supreme Court

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  • Engel v. Vitale
  • The background of the case is that the New York State Board of Education issued a short non denominational  prayer for students to voluntary say before each school day.
  • The issue is that parents of 10 students filed a lawsuit against the school because the prayer was contrary to their own beliefs. This also violated the Establishment Clause. Engel believed that having an established school prayer even voluntary ones violated the separation of church and state and it still went against the students first amendment because it acknowledged a god.
  • Vitale said that the school prayer was non denominational so it didn't show support to one religion. It was also voluntary and it wasn't required for the students to recite. The school hoped that the students would become better citizens and create better morales.
  • The outcome of Engel v Vitale case was that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it as unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools. A court ruling of 6-1, two justices did not participate. This is important to us because the supreme court began eliminating religious themes in public ceremonies and activities using the establishment clause.
  • They cant not do anymore prayers in schools.
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