PROS “The establishment of religion clause means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government may set up a church. Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion… Neither a state or the federal government may, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’” This is a quote from the 1947 Supreme Court Case of Everson vs. the Board of Education. The Everson court case established that all governmental actions must abide by the restrictions stated in the First Amendment in the establishment clause which includes local, state, and national government entities. In 1970, a New York lawyer sued the tax commission because it offered a tax exemption to individuals who made contributions to religious organizations. During the trial the Supreme Court upheld the tax exemption because it not only applied to religious groups but also non-religious. It would also be unconstitutional to appose taxes on religious affairs as it would cause the government to be involved in religious affairs which is against the establishment clause. The tax exemption had also had been in place for two centuries and no establishment had been made from it. The tax exemption remained. The Zorach vs. Clauson court case of 1952 upheld both the establishment and free exercise clause of the First Amendment. New York had a “release time” offered through schools which allowed students off school grounds to attend religious classes during school hours. Was the First Amendment being violated? No. With the “release time” program, the religious classes were not being given on campus therefore the establishment clause was not violated. The free exercise was also protected by allowing students the option of taking advantage of the “release time” program for their religious views.