Rhode Island Case Summary

728 Words3 Pages
Facts This case arose out of the consolidation of Lemon v Kurtzman from Pennsylvania and Early v Di Censo from Rhode Island. In the two cases, the state had adopted laws that required the state to provide aid to church related elementary and secondary schools. The Rhode Island’s statute provided for financial support for non-public schools by supplementing 15% of teachers’ salaries. The Pennsylvania statute provided funding for salaries, textbooks and instructional materials for non-public schools. In the Pennsylvania case, the plaintiffs argued that the statutes violated the separation of the state and the church as described in the First amendment. The district court granted a motion to dismiss. In the Rhode Island case, the argument was that the statutes violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The District court found for the plaintiff and held that the statute was in violation of the First amendment. Legal issues The issue before the court was whether the statutes violated the Establishment clause of the First Amendment. The question was whether it was constitutional for the states to provide financial support to religious institutions for costs related to teaching secular subjects. Courts analysis The establishment clause was intended…show more content…
Tax Commission. In this case, the court noted that in the absence of a stated constitutional prohibition, it is essential to refer to three evils that the establishment clause was intended to protect. These evils are financial support, sponsorship and the active involvement of a sovereign in religious activities. The appellant in this case sought to prevent the tax commission from granting property tax exemptions to religious organisations for properties used exclusively for worship. The court held that tax exemptions are not aimed at sponsoring, establishing or supporting religion because they create a minimal and remote involvement between the state and the
Open Document