Engel v. Vitale (1962):
• New York public schools had a specific prayer they must read every morning. It was
nondenominational and didn’t discriminate between religions.
• Engel: family that objected to the prayer.Argued the state has no constitutional right to
make a prayer that must be said every day.
• State argued the prayer was a practice, not a belief. The state could constitutionally
regulate the practice, so the prayer, particularly in schools.
• Precedent: Everson v. board of education (1947). Subsidizing bus transportation does not
discriminate and is beneficial to all the kids who get to school.
• State argues that prayer brings morality and character, it is beneficial to the children and
is not designed to alter their beliefs.
• Engel argues that it is a violation of the establishment clause because the state wrote the
prayer and required it to be read.
• Court agrees that the state has no business writing a mandatory prayer.
Muchollum v. Board of Education (1944)
• Clergymen allowed in public schools and spoke about their beliefs
• Court found it unconstitutional because it violated establishment clause
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) • Rhode Island and Pennsylvania: legislation provided textbooks to religious schools, and
(the issue) subsidized the salaries of religious teachers.
• Aimed at lifting the level of religious schools
• States argued Everson: good for the kids and not directly going to the schools.