Engel Vs Vitale Summary

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an you imagine yourself having to start your daily school routine with a prayer? This became a serious question to be taken up by the Supreme Court of the US, in November of 1951. Following an increase in in juvenile crime (many believe caused by the Korean War). The New York Board of Regents adopted a prayer to be recited in NY public schools (Dierenfield 67). The prayer was established because “...the regents believed that such a program would ensure that school children would acquire ‘respect for lawful authority and obedience to law’ ”(Dierenfield 67). The prayer consisted of the following words, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country” (Dierenfield …show more content…

At first, Engel’s case was refused by Justice Bernard S. Meyer because he concluded that school prayer did not interfere with the public’s rights under the First Amendment. Later with the time, Engel did not give up on the case and took it to the Supreme Court instead of the New York Court of Appeals where it was reviewed for the second time. Finally, on June 25, 1962, the final decision was given and it declared the law unconstitutional (“Facts and Case Summary - Engel v. Vitale” 1). The opinion of the court was 6-1 in were six of them were concurrence and one of them dissented (Skelton 1). The author of the people who were concurrence was William Orville Douglas. Douglas and the other five of them supported Engel and the parents because they agreed that the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause were being violated; even if students were excused from performing the prayer. Most of the court also believed that“not every religion recognizes a God, so some are necessarily excluded even with this wording” (Skelton 1). In a national survey by the Nation’s School journal, it was found that “...50 percent of school administrators returning the questionnaire wanted the Engel decision reversed ; 48 percent of them supported it” (Dierenfield

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