Establishment Clause Test Case Study

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The Court has, in previous cases, established three separate tests for determining violations of the Establishment Clause. The Petitioners, in the present case, offer sufficient –though not outstanding – evidence to comply with the requirements of each.

The Lemon Test exists as a three-pronged test: 1) Does the challenged action have a secular purpose; 2) Does the challenged action remain neutral (neither advances nor inhibits a religion); 3) Does the challenged action avoid excessive entanglement between governmental institutions and religious institutions. Lemon v. Kurtzman, [403 U.S. 602, 91 S.C.T. 2105 (1971)]. The California statute under duress from both this Court and the Respondent complies with each prong. The California statute
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This test observes two separate prongs: 1) Does the action provide direct aid to a religion in such a manner as to establish it as a state religion; 2) Does the action coerce people to support or participate in the religious practices against their own free will. County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, [492 U.S. 573, (1998)]. Dissecting the first prong offers no evidence to suggest that the test is failed; in no direct way is a religion aided with the addition of “Under God” in the Pledge. Due to the recitation of the Pledge being labeled as voluntary, the second prong also remains…show more content…
This feeds into the first question regarding artificial and natural coercion. Justice Kennedy wrote: “government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in any religion or its exercise.” County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter, [492 U.S. 573, (1998)]. Governmental coercion would constitute a source of artificial coercion whereby the government directly intervenes; however, there exists a natural coercive force simply through the presence of an authority figure – the classroom teacher in the case at hand. Despite the recitation of the Pledge being voluntary, can it truly be considered voluntary when Milgram’s experiment is
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