Santa Fe High School Case Summary

599 Words3 Pages

Case Citation: Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000)
Parties: Santa Fe Independent School District/ Petitioner Jane Doe/ Respondent
Facts: Prior to 1995, Santa Fe High School established a policy which allows their student council chaplain to deliver a Christian prayer through the school’s public address system before home football games of the school’s team. The practice was repeated before every football game. The mothers of one Mormon and one Catholic student filed a suit, claiming that the prayer policy violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Santa Fe High School changed the policy by establishing elections of spokesperson and voting whether the prayers should be delivered. A majority of the students voted for continuation of prayers and elected a student to deliver them. The District Court upheld the policy but permitted only nonsectarian, no proselytizing prayers. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the previous and current versions of the school’s prayer policy were invalid. Santa Fe Independent School District petitioned for a writ of certiorari arguing that the new policy did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. …show more content…

Holding: Yes. In a 6-3 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Court held that the Santa Fe Independent School District's policy allowing the representative of the student community to deliver overtly Christian prayer before home football games violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Reasoning: In its reasoning the Court considered Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 ruling, which decided that prayers during public high school events violate the Establishment

Open Document