The Right of Free Worship Free Exercise Clause

The Right of Free Worship
Free Exercise Clause
“Congress shall not prohibit the free exercise of religion.”
• beliefs are absolutely protected, but practices may be
• valid secular test: individuals must comply with laws
restricting religious practices, provided the law is valid and
-Sherbert v Verner [1963]
-Wisconsin v Yoder [1972]
-Bob Jones University v the United States [1983]
-Goldman v Weinberger [1986]
-City of Boerne v Flores, Archbishop of San Antonio [1997]
• classic free exercise cases:
-Minersville School District v Gobitis [1940]
-West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette [1943]
Establishment Clause
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”
•3 interpretations
•government cannot establish an official religion
•government may not aid one religion over another
•there must be a “wall of separation” between church and state
•“the Lemon test” - in order for a law (or government action) dealing with religion to
conform to the requirements of the Establishment Clause, it….
•must have a secular purpose
•must neither advance nor inhibit religion
•must not foster excessive government entanglement with religion
- Lemon v Kurtzman [1971]
-Tilton v Richardson [1971]
-Epperson v Arkansas [1968]; McClean v Arkansas [1982]
-Engel v Vitale [1962]
-School District of Abington Township v Schempp [1963]
-Murray v Curtlett [1963]
-Wallace v Jaffree [1985]
-McGowen v Maryland/Braunfeld v Brown [1961]
-Allegheny County v ACLU, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter [1989]