The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State
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Important Establishment Clause Cases

In recent years it has become fashionable to attack the Supreme Court as "going to far" with respect to religion and the public schools. We believe that much of this criticism is grounded in a misunderstanding of the law.

Research and table preparation by Susan Batte


For example, leaders of the religious right are simply incorrect when they argue that the Supreme Court has made it illegal to pray in school. Similarly, the right mischaracterizes the law when they claim that the Supreme Court has made the public schools a "religion-free zone," or "kicked God out of the public schools."

To help clarify what the law actually says, we present here detailed tables of cases dealing with the Establishment Clause and the public schools. These tables were prepared by Susan Batte, a practicing lawyer and former President of the Virginia Beach Chapter of American's United for Separation of Church and State. Read through these tables to get a better understanding of just what the Supreme Court has ruled about separation and the public schools, and why.