Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Charles J. Russo
The First Amendment Religion Clauses were ratified in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. According to the Religion Clauses, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” While the Supreme Court did not address a dispute involving religion and public education on the merits of an Establishment Clause claim until 1947, in Everson v. Board of Education , since then it has resolved more cases on the religion clauses than any other subject. In reviewing cases that involve the Religion Clauses, the Court has created confusion over the appropriate judicial standard. The Court enunciated a two-part test in School District of Abington Township v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett (1963) over the constitutionality of prayer and Bible reading in public schools. The Court expanded this two-part test into the tripartite Establishment Clause standard in Lemon v. Kurtzman ( Lemon ) ...